AWS: Effective Therapy For Accelerated Cloud Migration

AWS: Effective Therapy For Accelerated Cloud Migration

This is a success story. 

The importance of data security, accessibility, and reliability for the integrity of health care is beyond question. 

Like many emerging essential services which increasingly rely on technology for day-to-day operations, this sector is becoming more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, the effects of downtime on mission critical elements, and as importantly, the public perception that surrounds the success stories and newsworthy failures of the great digital transformation the world is undergoing. 

This is a success story. 

Fixing holes in any system, modernizing, strengthening resilience, and anticipating future needs well before those needs are recognized are key when planning a substantial redirection of computing and services to the cloud. 

Antiquated equipment, outdated procedures, and other challenges can hinder a successful, timely cloud migration. And they often do. 

That’s the reality Cofomo faced when it took on the cloud migration for the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI). AWS and its Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) stood out as the solution of choice, and Cofomo as the service-provider qualified to deliver a successful migration to the cloud. 

 

The Context 

If any sector’s activities require robust data storage, data retrieval, and the endless essential bits of digital infrastructure required to keep a veritable information-nexus safe, functional, and dependable, it’s health care. Their bottom line extends beyond dollars and rests upon saving lives. It’s a stark reality that the pandemic greatly exacerbated. 

The digital transformation of health care is nothing new, but both its scope and rate of increase are climbing precipitously. 

In 20131, the Quebec government initiated a $1.6 billion digitalization of all health records, followed in June 2022 by the injection of yet another $900 million2 in digital infrastructure modernization of its health care institutions, a program spread out over a 3-year implementation. Not surprisingly, cloud computing and cybersecurity placed near the top of their list of technology objectives. 

Clearly the call for upgrade and protection of essential digital assets is top-of-mind for all public health care administrators, as it is for the growing number of private and semi-private health care interests. 

Time: it’s the uphill battle which all digital transformations must fight. Those realities which demand that digital transformation be as rapid as possible are many. Data security and integrity, technology evolution and obsolescence, compatibility with rapidly growing numbers of connected systems and databases, and modernization of infrastructure and processes that govern their use can all impact project viability. 

It's essential to properly analyze, understand, strategize, then implement solutions. All of this before operations and operational efficiency are compromised. 

The MHI laid out its ambitious plans for removing obsolete equipment from its network and effecting a migration to cloud of selected IT assets. Two major data centers that served staff and researchers and patients respectively were subject to analysis, and would be part of this major undertaking, one that the MHI hoped would equip it to operate well into the future. 

The distinct advantages of a timely migration to the cloud were well understood and appreciated, and the MHI was determined to complete this facet of their digital transformation with as little impact on day-to-day operations as possible, so seamlessness and continuity mattered as much as the viability of the end solution. 

Here's how it happened. 

 

Different Patients. Similar Remedy. 

AWS’s capacity to address the many different challenges of cloud migration is due in part to its great flexibility of application. One-size-fits-all digital transformation and cloud migration solutions are often impractical if not impossible, which makes AWS ideal in a wide range of circumstances, and a perfect cure for what was ailing the MHI

AWS’s capacity to address the challenges of cloud migration is due in part to its great flexibility of application.

The MHI worked closely with Cofomo to identify and remove obsolete equipment and migrate their essential IT assets away from the data centres and to a secure, reliable cloud-based environment. Accompanying the client in every step of the complex process allowed the MHI’s Montreal Health Innovations Coordinating Center (MHICC) to move seamlessly to the cloud, freeing up real estate and centralizing operations there.  

To attain objectives, the MHI chose Cofomo and AWS as the ideal partners to prepare the framework of the MHICC move. This was designed to allow the MHICC to easily identify those workloads that can be migrated to AWS, those that would remain in situ. An in-depth analysis of the anticipated organizational impacts created by the migration will help guide its future strategic decisions. 

Cofomo, as an AWS accredited partner was ably equipped to carry out each facet of the MAP implementation, fully customized to the needs the MHI, this included: 

• Analysis of the current situation and identification of the organizational impacts cloud migration. 

• Collection of technical and financial information for reliable estimation of migration costs. 

• Developing cost-saving strategies through optimization. 

• Preparing the business case and documents required for AWS grant applications. 

• Developing a customized migration strategy that considers security and all other digital transformation dependencies. 

• Providing recommendations for next steps from the technical and human perspectives. 

Completing a successful cloud migration with AWS and its MAP lessened anticipated problems and speeded development while Cofomo’s expertise allowed for clear next-step recommendations to emerge. 

The MHI and its data centres can now easily identify which workloads to migrate to the cloud via AWS, and those that may need to be stored on site, thereby achieving efficiencies not possible before the move. 

The MHI and its data centres can now achieve efficiencies not possible before the move.

Security, reliability, and access issues stand to become a thing of the past once the second phase of migration is instituted. 

 

In The End 

It’s all about relationships. Working closely with clients necessitates flexibility, openness and within those qualities a willingness to explore innovative approaches that properly address the concerns of all stakeholders. 

Cofomo’s work with the MHI acknowledged the importance of the overlap between personal relationships and professional ones. Consideration of the expectations of each dictated the course of action, while the choice of solutions provided direction for a viable, sustainable solution. 

Public and private health care entities are faced with an enormous challenge. They’re the stewards of highly sensitive confidential information, the protection of which is equal in importance to the wellbeing of their patients. Compounding this is the need for near perfect digital infrastructure reliability. For health care concerns, operational continuity translates directly into lives. 

Cofomo, thanks to its AWS offer, was charged with a vital assignment and has accepted and overcome the challenge. 

Health care is faced with an enormous challenge. It’s the steward of highly sensitive confidential information, the protection of which is equal in importance to the wellbeing of its patients. 

It was an honour and privilege to contribute to the improvement of so many lives. Something bigger.

AWS and Cofomo deliver exceptional digital transformations. Find out more by reading our informative PDF.

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Information for this article were compiled from several sources: 

  1. https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/quebec-implementing-1-6-billion-electronic-health-record-system-1.1298754 

  2. https://www.canhealth.com/2022/06/30/quebec-to-invest-nearly-1-billion-in-health-it/

All other information was obtained through the kind cooperation of Cofomo and its It professionals including those who worked on these projects.