by Chloe Dobinson

BMJ Chief Digital Officer Sharon Cooper deploying hybrid cloud to increase scalability and resilience

Oct 18, 2016
Cloud ComputingIT StrategyMobile Apps

BMJ will deploy a multi-platform hybrid cloud to deliver change in the healthcare information market, according to its Chief Digital Officer Sharon Cooper. The cloud system will enable the organisation to “carry out tasks quicker” and deliver a more responsive customer service.

CDO Cooper said that the organisation had used a private cloud infrastructure over the last 10 years, saying that the BMJ’s technology strategy had been on getting new products to market with little time to go “back and revise” the architecture. [See also: BMJ Chief Digital OfficerSharon Cooper driving cultural transformation]

“When we came to migrate to new infrastructure, we took the opportunity to pay off that technical debt and to design for the future,” she said.

The collaboration with Datapipe has enabled BMJ – known previously as the British Medical Journal – to focus on their skills in-house to leverage the advantages of the cloud and “cement” their position as a digital publisher and educator.

CDO Cooperhas been able from migrate platforms with limited downtime and and deliver customer service throughout.

“Making this move without our users noticing was the most important KPI that I set for the migration project,” she said. “The only downtime we had was restricted to a few minutes during database migrations, which totalled to around 30 minutes in a nine-month project.”

The Chief Digital Officer sees BMJ customers as being the “business side” of the organisation, with the system helping to improve their responsiveness to business requirements.

“Cloud has helped us move from a scenario where product updates and releases used to happen infrequently and with high risk, to a place where they happen daily without anyone noticing,” Cooper said.

BMJ will see the cloud provision cope with “seasonal demands” in managing parts of the infrastructure that do not need to be “available 24×7” more effectively.

“One of the advantages we are hoping to utilise in embedding public cloud is by switching elements off or dialling down capacity when not required, saving money, resources and time,” she said.

While Cooper explains that cloud or on-premise infrastructure will never be completely secure, the business benefits trump the risk at the BMJ.

“No system, cloud or on-premise, is going to be completely safe from security threats,” she said. “It’s about understanding your business risk, knowing where your sensitive data is, and taking responsibility for ensuring that it is kept safe, whether that is on paper, or digitally held.”