With all the challenges facing pharmacy management today like staffing, filling scripts, vaccinations, replenishing OTC inventory, and meeting compliance standards, technology is one thing pharmacy staff should not have to worry about.
Is cloud computing right for your pharmacy point of sale (POS)?
Directors of Pharmacy (DOP) may have little say in the matter. Pharmacy IT and Security teams, however, are always looking to deploy the strategy best suited for their organization. The question is always, “should we use an On-Premises or Cloud approach?”
While IT teams will drive the decision to move to Cloud or not, the spend for a pharmacy software solution impacts the DOP’s budget. Therefore, both the pharmacy and IT/security teams need to understand the benefits and challenges associated with On-Prem vs. Cloud for pharmacy POS platforms.
Let’s discuss some cloud computing basics to fully understand the reasoning behind a Cloud strategy.
IT Leaders are Making the Move to Cloud
IT trends come and go, but the transition to a cloud strategy is what most organization’s technology teams are endorsing. The key factors driving the trend to cloud are agility to deploy solutions, flexibility in services, scalability, and cost savings.
According to International Data Group’s (IDG) 2020 Cloud Computing Survey of over 500 IT professionals, 59% of tech buyers (involved in the purchase process for cloud computing) said they planned to be ‘mostly’ (43%) or ‘all’ (16%) on the cloud in the next 18 months.1
Agility to Deploy Solutions
With a cloud solution, the ability to quickly onboard a POS solution that best serves your pharmacy patients and staff is greatly improved. There is no hardware to requisition, no IT resources needed to acquire licenses or install and configure baseline operating systems, and you don’t need to create and install certificates. The cloud vendor configures the environment (cloud instance) and software necessary for your organization’s solution.
Flexibility in Services
In a cloud SaaS model, many of the data services are built into the subscription. Data corruption monitoring, upgrades to all software, and bug fixes are handled by the cloud provider. In addition, these services also include backups and disaster recovery, which removes a huge burden for IT leaders and their teams. Hospital IT can now rely on the vendor to manage these services with agility and expertise and rest assured that, if and when they run into backup and disaster recovery, it will be escalated and handled by their vendor.
Scalability to Grow with You
As your business grows, the cloud expands to meet your needs. Regular data monitoring uncovers space constraints and other issues. Adding new sites can be accomplished easily. All these benefits provide the scalability you need to avoid technology swaps as your organization grows, which requires less spending and reduces the burden on your team.
Cost Savings and Reduced Spend
One of the best business advantages with cloud is the smaller upfront costs to deploy a SaaS pharmacy commerce platform. The ability to bypass traditional hardware procurement and less need for internal IT resources allows the organization to be nimbler to market with a pharmacy point of sale solution. Perhaps one of the more subtle but significant savings for cloud deployment is with software upgrades. For an On-Premises solution, a variety of IT resources are needed to work in concert after hours with the vendor’s implementation team to back up the system, monitor the application upgrade process and restart servers. With a cloud solution, the vendor performs all the necessary steps. For many On-Premises installations, IT resources must be in each pharmacy after hours, which requires a pharmacist to be present. A cloud solution eliminates the need for pharmacy staff to be present alongside IT resources during service upgrades. Point of sale workstation upgrades can typically be accomplished remotely or the next morning when pharmacy staff are already in the store.
Now let’s address the so called ‘elephant in the room.’ Security.
According to Gartner estimates, public cloud service workloads will suffer at least 60% fewer security incidents than those in traditional data centers.2 And in an industry like healthcare, you simply can’t afford a security breach.
With a cloud strategy, you’ll have a team of experts always safeguarding your data. The best security plan provides a multi-layer approach including:
- Access control systems, like single sign-on
- Threat and login activity monitoring
- Data encryption in transit and at rest
- Network protection
- Application security
- Data redundancy and mass file deletion protection
In additional to all the security layers just mentioned, a strong employee onboarding and offboarding process is key. Your organization can mitigate threats by adhering to your onboarding and offboarding policies and evaluating access to resources and external use of applications.
The Emporos Cloud
We know security is your highest priority. Rest assured, Emporos is serious about security too. We earned SOC 2 Type 2 compliance. But that’s not all. The Emporos Cloud uses best-in-class tools to protect your data and your customers’ data from risk.
Our Emporos Customer Care team proactively conducts system health checks on your cloud environment and often resolves issues before you knew they existed. For you, that means your pharmacy staff can focus on serving your customers promptly, filling prescriptions, and maintaining patient safety.
Ready to make the leap to a cloud-based pharmacy point of sale solution? To learn more about the Emporos Cloud solution, click here.