A Tale of Two Companies

End of Support (EOS) for SQL 2008 and Windows 2008 is coming fast. But is it really worth moving to Azure for more security and to safeguard support? For the answer, and to reveal what the real dangers of ‘doing nothing’ could be, let’s assess the possible fortunes of two imaginary companies.

We’ll call them Smith Softcare Solutions and Jones Healthware – two equally successful international businesses. Now, imagine the EOS deadline for 2008 servers – and the support that comes with them – has been and gone.

Smith Softcare Solutions transitioned to the cloud and migrated to SQL 2016 on Azure. Meanwhile, Jones took the view that the move would be too stressful, expensive and disruptive. And besides, healthcare regulatory compliance is a minefield; the cloud couldn’t possibly be as secure as its own on-premise hardware.

From siloes to solutions

Hospitals, GP practices, and pharma companies rely on both Smith and Jones’ software to deliver smart, effective patient care. From clinical trials and financial management to electronic prescription and health records, both companies are experts in developing the right software to satisfy industry demands while protecting confidential patient data.

In the cloud, Smith can harmonise development and hosting. They can develop software in Microsoft’s Azure cloud, with dramatic time-to-market gains and savings, using the platform as a service offering.

Jones’ development teams continue to build the software solution, then hand it to the hosting teams. This siloed methodology means inconsistent product deployments and raises support issues.

By collaborating with payers, health plans, pharmaceutical companies – and their employers – Smith has a panoramic view of the care process. It uses this perspective to develop innovative tools that lower costs, improve care, and enhance patient and provider satisfaction.

Half-a-world away

Both companies maintain development and non-hosting datacentres around the world. Smith consolidates and centralises these facilities, via the cloud. The business reduces costs, simplifies management, and increases security. By migrating workloads to Azure, they’re able to close or move datacentres that had previously been in far flung corners of the globe.

Jones’ is left managing hardware in datacentres half-a-world away.

Securing the future

Smith’s decision was also influenced by the Azure platform’s global datacentre footprint and its significant security posture – key to healthcare regulatory compliance. Microsoft provides a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Business Associate Agreement, which states that Microsoft maintains personal health information (PHI) and overall HIPAA compliance in its datacentres.

At Jones’ they’re still looking for a simpler, faster and more flexible way to get acquired intellectual property into a safeguarded, reliable place with low risk…

Fact or fiction?

It’s easy to see how, in a very competitive market, Smith will do more than keep up with the Joneses – they’ll be moving ahead of them. In other words, EOS isn’t just about losing support.

And the above isn’t complete fiction. While Jones Healthware are an imaginary company created to illustrate our story, Smith Softcare Solutions are based on a real and highly successful company who began moving applications to Azure over a year ago.

Should you want to follow their lead and leverage this opportunity to optimise your platform, reach out to our experts to explore your options. Click here to learn how Azure can enhance your business through tooling and automation upgrades, linking multiple environments, and mitigating risk.

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Gareth Monk is an Azure Specialist Solutions Architect on the Fanatical Support® for Azure team at Rackspace. He works with Rackspace customers, helping them architect and implement scalable, highly available and recoverable solutions in the Azure cloud. Prior to joining Rackspace, Gareth worked as CIO/CTO of a Cloud/IT Support Services organisation focused on the SME space. Gareth brings more than 10 years of solutions architecture and Cloud transition/transformation experience to the Rackspace team. Gareth has significant experience in the end-to-end customer journey to the Cloud from his time leading a Cloud Services practice in the SME space.

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