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Cloud 2.0 – Global Cloud Leadership from Canadian Healthcare

A massive step forward in cloud computing best practice trend-setting

With my mission for the Canadian Cloud Best Practices Network to be a showcase of locally home-grown Cloud innovations and expertise, then it’s great when this can be achieved by talking about powerful, global-level capabilities.

In this case I refer to the recently released Cloud Computing in Health strategy document released from Canada Health Infoway, the principle eHealth standards organization for Canada.

This is a massive step forward in Cloud computing best practice trend-setting, globally as well as here in Canada, so it will be a very exciting program to profile.

Achieving a global audience through these assets is the primary reason I focus so much on reviewing and showcasing Canadian Government R&D in this area – Global level innovations attract a global audience…

Cloud SOA

The document is significant because it builds on the foundations of NIST, the USA standards body who has defined all the baseline Cloud models thus far.

Whilst these are globally recognized there are also limitations, mainly centred on them being somewhat rudimentary. For a broader view and for more sophisticated capabilities in key areas we can also look to other industries, organizations and nations.

Health Infoway are a great example because of their role as a standards body for such a significantly important value chain, eHealthcare, and so this presents a great opportunity for Canada on a global stage.

Infoway is especially interesting to the Cloud arena because their fundamental purpose in life is to define a SOA blueprint (Service Oriented Architecture) for implementation in Canadian eHealthcare.

This is achieved through the ‘HIAL’, a localized implementation of the SOA tailored for Canadian eHealthcare. To further map this to a Cloud model would be a major step of progress in the Cloud field internationally.

For a very brief intro to Cloud SOA, check out this Rackspace blog.

Cloud 2.0

Furthermore the document also has a headline focus on the cutting edge topic of “Cloud 2.0″, which as the picture suggests encapsulates:

  • Cloud – Speedier time to deploy new applications.
  • Social media – These applications can be online Web 2.0 communities, with powerful business process tools built in.
  • Crowdsourcing – Equally new organizational models can be leveraged, most notably “Crowdsourcing”.

As Infoway describe in their paper they recognize this overall trend of social computing blending with traditional IT:

We see a logical and necessary fusion in the use of cloud to support mobile computing, social computing, analytics and consumer enablement.

The paper covers all the related technology components – Privacy, encryption,  et al, and also makes the backbone point that the Cloud is ideal for implementing their SOA recommendations:

In addition, jurisdictions may wish to deploy multiple HIALs, or they may wish to improve scaling and extensibility of a single HIAL through virtualization of services. The SOA upon which the Blueprint for EHR solutions is based is well suited to transition to a cloud-based IT model.

So this Cloud SOA reference architecture as part of a Cloud 2.0 strategy is a very powerful focus – Indeed what I think is the single #1 ‘tipping point’ aspect of what will spur Cloud adoption.

Secondly I also think the biggest sector to adopt Cloud will be Healthcare, so this is a Home Run opportunity for the Canadian Cloud industry for sure. Stay tuned for lots more to come…

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