According to a recent Gartner Group study, annual spending on cloud-related transactions may grow to almost $150 billion worldwide by 2014. Although health care is a market segment that has generally resisted jumping into the technology explosion taking place "in the cloud," according to the CDW 2011 Cloud Computing Tracking Poll, 30 percent of health care organizations are now either implementing cloud-based solutions or are already operating such solutions.

In addition, the poll projects that current cloud users will spend more than one-third of their 2016 I.T. budget on cloud resources and applications. This ever-growing movement is driven by the flexibility, cost savings and convenience that cloud-based solutions can offer. At the same time, there are significant downsides to making the move-including the loss of control over critical I.T. systems and sensitive data. However, there are a number of ways health care organizations can manage the risks and reap the rewards of the cloud.

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