Cloud computing provides on-demand services over the internet. These services include server, storage, networking, software, and data analytics services. Due to the cloud’s many benefits, many businesses in the United States leverage the technology in some capacity. In fact, cloud services spending increased to over $18 billion in the first quarter of 2021 alone.
There’s also a wide range of cloud services designed for dental practices available today. From dental practice management software to scalable storage solutions and VoIP phone systems, your practice stands to gain a lot by implementing cloud technology.
However, if you’re still on the fence about adopting cloud solutions, we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons that will help you decide.
The advantages of cloud computing
Dental practices that incorporate cloud computing stand to gain a host of benefits.
A simplified IT environment
The first benefit of cloud migration is the ability to simplify your business IT. Physical, on-site servers and a complex networking setup are no longer mandatory. With the cloud, all the storage tools and equipment you need are in fully managed off-site data centers that can be accessed with an internet connection.
This saves your practice the time and money required to install, configure, and test on-premises infrastructure, along with the effort of hiring and training in-house IT staff. Additionally, cloud solutions are highly scalable. This allows you to only pay for the services and storage you need at any given time, with the option to expand as your practice grows.
Greater digital security
Protected storage of patient information is crucial to any dental practice. If you're reluctant to migrate such sensitive data to an off-site data center because of security concerns, you'll be glad to know that cloud solutions typically offer a robust, reliable security system. These platforms come with advanced threat prevention systems, firewalls, encrypted HIPAA-compliant databases, and data backups managed by professionals who monitor everything around the clock.
This means you and your staff can rest easy knowing the chances of potential breaches or cyberattacks are significantly minimized. Additionally, having such critical information accessible online further secures your data in the event of hardware damage, power outages, or natural disasters.
Access data and applications anytime, anywhere
Another reason to move to the cloud is the ability to access and manage your information when and where you please. This is critical for administrative staff who choose to work from home, or dental practitioners who require remote access to patient information in case of emergencies. With all your data online, you can share, edit, and retrieve your files at a moment’s notice.
The disadvantages of cloud computing
While there are many advantages to the cloud, dental practices should be aware of some of the risks associated with it.
Requires a fast and reliable internet connection
Though the cloud offers a myriad of benefits, you must first ensure a stable, reliable internet connection in order to maintain constant access and meet bandwidth demands. We recommend investing in enterprise-grade networking equipment and internet plans before adopting such platforms. Otherwise, you may face unnecessary disruptions or downtime.
Service level agreements may vary
When sifting through potential cloud providers, have a thorough read of their service offerings. These can vary depending on the company, with some offering a better fit for your practice than others. When weighing out service level agreements, it may help to consider accountability (do they guarantee uptime and system performance?), transitioning (will they help transition your data to another vendor, if necessary?), and the right to cancel.
Potential hidden fees
Similar to assessing the cloud provider’s service package, it’s also important to discuss all fees involved. Avoid exorbitant hidden fees by clarifying all features and procedures upfront. This can help outline all the necessary expectations you have of the vendor, and what they’ll inevitably cost you.
Though cloud computing isn’t without its challenges, any modern dental practice can benefit from the overwhelming advantages it offers. Manage your data with greater efficiency and flexibility, and join the many practices now adopting the cloud. Enjoy all the benefits of the cloud without the potential pitfalls. Call Pact-One Solutions to migrate to the cloud today.