Imaging in the Cloud 2024: A Look at Organizations’ Cloud Perceptions - Cover

Imaging in the Cloud 2024: A Look at Organizations’ Cloud Perceptions

Most providers believe the imaging industry’s migration to the cloud is not a matter of if, but when. However, this transition is still in the early stages, and there is a critical need for information on the cloud as more providers consider migrating. KLAS receives so many questions from organizations at various stages of their cloud journey, and to understand where the industry is at, we recently published our Imaging in the Cloud 2024 report, which looks at customer perceptions of vendors’ cloud capabilities and shares general insights about the state of the market.

Of note, the interviewed organizations for this report were not targeted for their cloud expertise; we set out to interview all types of respondents and—regardless of their cloud experience—ask them about their perception of the cloud. In particular, we asked about respondents’ confidence regarding their vendors’ cloud strategy and their own organization’s plans for moving to the cloud. We hope providers can glean insights from what their peers are thinking and determine which vendor will be the best partner on their own cloud journey.

Why the Cloud?

Organizations recognize the rapid pace of technological advancement. As they plan for the next three to five years, they realize that relying solely on traditional on-premises systems—which require upgrades to evolve and improve—could result in falling behind. The cloud offers the advantage of staying current with vendor technologies and facilitates quicker integration of new AI features and other technologies.

There are other reasons for moving to the cloud. It can help alleviate the burden of staffing shortages, as organizations can offload tasks to vendors or eliminate certain tasks altogether. Additionally, on-site hardware can be eliminated, freeing up space and resources. Some see the cloud as a more secure option, and provider organizations can delegate certain security responsibilities to vendors.

It’s important to note that although moving to the cloud isn’t always a cheaper approach, it can allow for better financial planning. Ultimately, organizations should focus on finding the right vendor partner who can drive outcomes in the cloud—having this mind-set is more beneficial than expecting direct cost savings.

Main Takeaways from the Report

One of the report’s main takeaways is that vendors who have the most traction in the market excel at communicating their road maps. This observation isn't limited to just cloud technologies. For vendors like Sectra and Visage Imaging, their success isn't solely due to extensive experience in emerging topics such as the cloud or AI. Instead, their ability to effectively communicate with customers and thoughtfully plan their road maps is what sets them apart. This report does an excellent job of distinguishing between those who excel in communication and strategic planning and those who struggle to articulate their current initiatives or future plans for the next three to five years.

Another takeaway from this report is its exploration of the current state of cloud adoption for imaging. Nearly two-thirds of interviewed organizations are either already in the cloud or beginning to explore cloud solutions, whether for storage or for migrating applications to the cloud. Notably, diagnostic viewing in the cloud has been done mostly by smaller organizations, as larger organizations have more frequently adopted the cloud for storage. However, this trend will likely change; three-fourths of large organizations that are planning to move to the cloud in the coming years plan to do so for diagnostic viewing.

state of cloud adoption for diagnostic image viewing and/or storage

Surprises in the Data

One thing that surprised us is the variety of cloud definitions across vendors’ customers, indicating that there is a significant need for education in the market. The variety stems from the many ways organizations have approached the cloud to date—with hosted and SaaS models, various cloud providers, and a mix of different applications and environments that have been moved to the cloud. It will be interesting to see whether the industry becomes more aligned on the cloud moving forward.

In addition, we were surprised by how strongly some vendors are perceived by their customers for cloud services, especially given their smaller customer bases in the cloud. Customers’ perceptions are largely based on their vendors’ track records, which can be a generally reliable approach. However, switching to the cloud is newer territory for a lot of vendors, and it’s important to recognize that much of the industry’s confidence is based on perception—proof points are still early.

KLAS’ Future Plans 

Moving forward, we plan to keep monitoring AI and cloud technologies as they advance in this market, especially because the timing of developments is already proving to be incredibly fast. For our next report on imaging in the cloud, we hope to move beyond perception to validate what certain organizations are actually doing with their cloud vendor. This will involve looking at their transition to the cloud, their best practices, and how their cost savings and vendor support have been.

Essentially, we want to verify whether the perceptions from this 2024 report align with actual experiences of customers. Validating live experiences will be crucial, as we anticipate significant cloud adoption in the next three to five years, particularly as contracts renew and organizations using legacy solutions consider server refreshes. We are excited to share future insights with you!

To view the 2024 report, visit the KLAS website.

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