• United States



Contributing Writer

Health care bill, networking and security

Mar 22, 20102 mins
Cisco SystemsData and Information Security

New spending will create an opportunity for smart vendors

In 2009, the Federal government passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). The HITECH act invests $17 billion in information technology infrastructure and Medicare and Medicaid incentives to encourage doctors to adopt technologies for Electronic Health Records (EHR) and then elextronically share health data. The act also strengthens Federal privacy and security laws.Fast forward to Sunday, March 21. The U.S. House of Representatives passes a major health reform bill that will soon become law. The $940 billion plan will overhaul health care for all American citizens and provide insurance for approximately 32 million Americans.Forget politics or whether you are in favor or opposed to health care reform. The fact is that there is a lot of money going into health care right now, and this trend will continue into the future. In my mind, this means that IT vendors need to embrace a focused sales and marketing effort in the health care vertical. I’m not talking about brochures or trade shows, I’m talking about real expertise in health care IT architecture, requirements, regulations, and vision. ESG Research indicates that in 2010, health care organizations will:1. Increase IT spending. Health care is one of three verticals where IT spending will overwhelmingly increase.2. Maintain a business focus on security and compliance in their business processes. This means that all IT vendors should include security and compliance in their sales, marketing, and product strategies. 3. Invest in networking and networking services like IP telephony. There is also a major focus on network security.4. Need security help. Health care organizations admit that they don’t have the security skills they need. Good opportunity for professional services and SaaS vendors.5. Embrace desktop virtualization. Health care organizations are ahead of every other vertical industry on desktop virtualization. This move may require network, security, and data center investments. This is just the tip of the iceberg.Health care already makes up one-sixth of the U.S. economy. If that hasn’t motivated IT vendors to bone up on health care expertise then HITECH and the new health care reform should. Health care CIOs should demand deep industry knowledge from their IT vendors. Savvy vendors won’t disapoint them.

Contributing Writer

Jon Oltsik is a distinguished analyst, fellow, and the founder of the ESG’s cybersecurity service. With over 35 years of technology industry experience, Jon is widely recognized as an expert in all aspects of cybersecurity and is often called upon to help customers understand a CISO's perspective and strategies. Jon focuses on areas such as cyber-risk management, security operations, and all things related to CISOs.

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