Whether you run an independent practice or are a part of one of the nation’s many larger dental service organizations (DSOs), you probably pay careful attention to the latest trends in the dentistry sector.
If so, you have undoubtedly noticed that everyone seems to be switching to cloud-based servers, including your competitors. The question is, “why?”
Cloud technologies have transformed the way that people and businesses interact with technology. Modern cloud-based servers offer huge benefits when compared to old-school data storage options.
Despite the clear benefits of cloud-based servers, it’s understandable that you may be a bit skeptical about switching to this technology. We get it — you have poured countless hours and thousands of dollars into building your business. The last thing you want to do is make a major transition without understanding the entire weight of that decision.
That’s why we created this list of 5 reasons why dental practices are switching to cloud-based servers in record numbers. By the time you make it to reason number 5, you will be ready to make the switch yourself. Don’t worry, as we will discuss the easiest way to accomplish that as well.
Before we dive into our list, let’s recap exactly what a cloud-based server is.
Cloud-based servers are “pooled” storage resources that are hosted by a third-party provider. Those resources are delivered over the internet. In plain English, host companies have massive facilities that house hundreds of servers. They then “rent” server space to businesses in many different industries, such as your dental office.
When the topic of cloud-based servers comes up, many people assume the conversation is going to center around data storage. While this is one function of cloud-based servers, it is not the only function. Cloud servers also provide processing power and grant access to robust applications.
If you are using cloud-based servers, you do not purchase the hardware itself. Instead, you pay for the services via a monthly subscription model. When you have outgrown your subscription tier, you simply upgrade your plan.
By this point, cloud-based servers are probably sounding pretty appealing. On that note, let’s take a closer look at 5 specific reasons why dentistry businesses are going cloud-based.
1. Cloud Resources Are Cost-Effective
As you know all too well, running a dentistry practice requires you to carefully manage a plethora of different business expenses. Between payroll, equipment, lease or mortgage payments, and general overhead expenses, you’ve got a lot of ground to cover if you want to keep your business profitable.
The last thing you want to do is add exorbitant information technology costs to your list of expenses. However, if you are relying on in-house servers, that is exactly what you have done.
If you want to eliminate the financial burden of purchasing, maintaining, and replacing your own servers, switching to cloud-based alternatives is a great decision. When you migrate to the cloud, your services provider will maintain your server resources. If you need more storage capacity, just upgrade your plan.
Cloud-based servers can save you money in other ways as well. Specifically, you will not need to hire a full-time IT staff to maintain your network. Instead, you can partner with a local dental IT support provider and let it remotely manage your cloud-based assets.
It’s no wonder that so many of your competitors are making the leap to cloud-based servers. The only question is, why haven’t you?
2. Cloud-Based Servers Are Reliable and Scalable
Remember when we said that cloud-based servers are “pooled assets?” This setup means that there are literally hundreds of servers at your cloud services provider’s facility. If a server or group of servers goes offline, your provider can reroute your traffic through a different set of servers so that you do not experience a service disruption.
On the other hand, if you are still relying on on-premises servers and you experience an outage, business operations will grind to a halt. You will be unable to adequately serve your patients until the faulty servers are repaired or replaced.
Cloud-based servers are not only more reliable than on-premises alternatives, but they are far more scalable too. If you use on-premises assets and fill all of your available storage space, you would need to go out and purchase a new server.
You will likely need auxiliary equipment as well, such as storage racks, cooling fans, and cables. Not only is this entire process tedious to navigate, but you will probably have to drop thousands of dollars on new hardware to complete the upgrade.
When going the cloud-based route, upgrading your services is as easy as contacting your provider. It can allocate additional storage space and computing power to your business as directed.
3. Modern Patients Expect More
Unless you are the only practice in town, you are probably competing for a healthy market share with several other dentist offices in your area.
Even if you are the only practice in your town or city, some patients will be willing to drive to a neighboring community for dental services if your business is not up to par. That is the last thing you want.
Many dentists have upped their tech game to differentiate themselves from other practices. While quality care is the center of a great patient experience, it is only part of the equation.
Modern patients also want a seamless check-in process, the ability to remotely access their records, and an efficient experience from start to finish. The only way to live up to these expectations is to leverage the latest dentistry technology.
Cloud-based servers provide you with the computing power you need to leverage leading-edge applications. Like the cloud servers themselves, the majority of modern apps are available via a software as a service (SaaS) format. This setup means that you pay a subscription fee instead of purchasing them outright.
4. Cybersecurity Has Become a Critical Concern for Providers
The current cybercrime climate is one of the factors that is prompting countless dentist offices and DSOs to adopt cloud-based servers. Cybercriminals have been more active than ever over the last few years. Dental offices are on criminals’ long list of targets for one simple reason — these offices store an abundance of valuable patient data.
What does all this have to do with cloud-based servers? The answer is pretty straightforward — cloud-based servers can pave the way for improved cybersecurity.
Cloud networks themselves are managed by the provider. Providers do an excellent job of monitoring their assets, ensuring that all updates are installed promptly, and proactively guarding against data breaches.
Additionally, switching to cloud-based servers allows you to access those aforementioned SaaS solutions.
When you are using on-premises servers and traditional computer applications, you are responsible for downloading patches, applying updates, and ensuring other required maintenance is performed. If you forget, your network will be left vulnerable to cyberattacks.
On the other hand, SaaS solutions are maintained by developers, which ensures that they always have the latest patches and security fixes.
5. Cloud-Based Servers Offer Backup Capabilities
Modern dental technologies have made it possible for practices to deliver a superior level of care to patients. However, these technologies are heavily reliant on vast stores of patient data. Without this data, these technologies are all but useless.
Upon realizing this, many dental business owners decided to switch to cloud-based servers. These servers allow businesses to backup their invaluable patient files and other data. Should their patient files be lost to a flood, fire, or another disaster, these practices can restore them using the copies stored on their cloud-based servers.
In short, cloud-based servers and the backup capabilities that they provide could turn a potentially catastrophic incident into little more than a minor inconvenience.
During a backup, the practice’s data will be copied, encrypted, and transmitted to the cloud-based servers. These backups are performed at predetermined intervals to ensure that the copies contain up-to-date data.
Most practices will schedule backups at least once every 24 hours. However, you can choose backup intervals that best align with your practice’s needs.
Want to jump on the cloud-based server trend and revolutionize the way you manage your data? If so, you need a great dental IT support partner like Zenith Dental IT.
At Zenith, we partner with leading practice management software (PMS) and dentistry technology developers. A few of the companies we have partnered with include Dentrix and Eaglesoft. These partnerships allow us to connect you with the tools and tech you need to thrive in the dental industry.
Oh, and did we mention we also offer access to cloud-based servers and backup services? We know what you are thinking. It’s probably something like, “wow, Zenith really is a full-service dental IT support firm.” If so, then you are right.
At Zenith, we pride ourselves on our ability to guide you through any and every IT challenges you may encounter as you work to grow your practice. To learn more, contact us for a quote today.
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