Here are five reasons that I will explain to the executive board why a cloud server would be a better choice than a physical server for this project:
1. Scalability: Cloud servers can easily scale resources up or down based on demand. In the context of the appointment system, this is beneficial because it allows the hospital to accommodate increased usage during peak times, such as flu seasons or during a health crisis.
2. Cost-Efficiency: Cloud services typically operate on a pay-as-you-go model. This means the hospital won’t need to invest in expensive hardware and can avoid the associated maintenance and operational costs. They only pay for the resources they use, which can result in significant cost savings.
3. Reliability and Redundancy: Cloud servers are hosted in secure data centers with multiple redundancies, ensuring the application remains available even in the event of hardware failures or other issues. This is crucial for a healthcare application where reliability is paramount. This is important for a healthcare application, which must be available 24/7.
4. Maintenance: Cloud providers handle the maintenance, updates, and security of the underlying infrastructure, freeing the hospital’s IT officer from these tasks.
5. Ease of use: Cloud-based systems are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. This means patients can make appointments and access their information conveniently, even from their homes. This can save the hospital time and money on IT support.
Considering the above advantages, a suitable cloud computing service model for the web-based patient appointment application would be “Platform as a Service” (PaaS). Here’s why:
PaaS provides a platform that includes the necessary infrastructure, development tools, and runtime environment for building, deploying, and managing applications. In the case of the appointment application, it allows the hospital’s IT officer to focus on developing and customizing the application without worrying about managing the underlying server and networking components.
With PaaS, the hospital can take advantage of the cloud provider’s infrastructure, security measures, and scalability while maintaining control over the application’s development and customization. It strikes a balance between the control offered by Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and the convenience of Software as a Service (SaaS).
The fact that the hospital has only one IT officer and does not have its server yet significantly influences the choice of PaaS as the cloud computing service model. Here’s how it affects the decision:
• With just one IT officer, the hospital has limited resources available for managing IT infrastructure. Setting up and maintaining a physical server can be resource-intensive and time-consuming. Therefore, opting for a cloud solution that minimizes the IT officer’s workload and simplifies management is essential.
• Given the limited IT staff, the primary focus should be on developing and customizing the web-based patient appointment application to meet the hospital’s specific needs. Managing server hardware, operating systems, and network infrastructure would divert valuable resources away from application development.
• PaaS enables rapid application deployment. This is important for quickly implementing the appointment system without the delays associated with procuring, configuring, and maintaining physical servers.
• Cloud service providers handle server maintenance, updates, security, and backups. This offloads these responsibilities from the IT officer, allowing them to concentrate on application enhancements and user support.
Considering these factors, a cloud computing service model like PaaS remains the most suitable choice. PaaS abstracts infrastructure management tasks, making it ideal for organizations with limited IT resources and expertise.