Maintaining a blog such as Lab Soft News is relatively inexpensive because the cost to rent time on the server used to publish and archive the daily notes is very low. Succinctly put, server time has become a commodity. Server time is so commoditized, in fact, that a recent blog note (see: Look, ma, no servers) made reference to "the serverless internet economy." This is a bit of a misnomer but please read on (boldface emphasis mine):
Robert Scoble notes the rise of "the serverless Internet company" that can launch and run a webwide business through the window of a browser. He writes of a recent conversation he had with Max Haot, the CEO of Mogulus, a site that lets people produce and broadcast video programs: At one point Max seemed like he was joking around with me when he told me “we don’t own a single server.” ....He nicely and calmly explained that, yes, every server the company owns is actually running on Amazon’s S3 and EC2 services....Now ANYONE can build an Internet company and get it up to scale. What's particularly noteworthy about Mogulus is that it shows how layers of utility computing services can be built atop a single shared infrastructure. Mogulus runs its business by drawing on computing and storage services provided by Amazon Web Services, allowing it to avoid any capital investment in computing gear. And then Mogulus offers a set of sophisticated computing services to its own customers, including video editing, storage, and transmission, that until recently would have themselves required big investments in expensive software and hardware.
The reason that the term "serverless" is a bit misleading in the article is that server access remains as a critical component of any internet business. However, the point being made is that the internet service companies themselves are not required to invest capital in computer hardware. They simply rent access to servers from other companies that specialize in this business. In addition, it is also now possible to layer multiple internet service companies on what is referred to above as a single shared infrastructure. In other words, Mogulus provides internet services to other companies that also take advantage of the servers that Mogulus itself rents.
Healthcare IT has traditionally lagged about a decade behind computing in other corporate sectors. However, it seems to me inevitable that hospital EMRs, LISs, RISs, and other information systems will eventually run on rented servers rather than on hardware owned and managed by the hospitals themselves. In time, the potential cost savings will be irresistible. It also occurs to me, however, that hospital executives would never be able to tolerate using, say, an Amazon server farm or "computing cloud" because of the perception that healthcare computing is different than corporate computing or e-commerce.
Therefore, I envision specialized companies, or even subdivisions of existing companies like Amazon or Google, that will have "healthcare" in their names and will serve only the healthcare industry. In this way, they will be able offer an array of services specifically tailored to the needs of their healthcare clients. Paramount, of course, will be non-stop computing, rapid response time/disaster recovery, and iron-clad data security/confidentiality. Frankly, these demands will not be that different than those demanded by many current e-business customers but I am sure that the perception of specialized services will be comforting to the hospital executives.