The health sector still faces challenges in spite of investing in technology for digital transformation. Pictured: An Air Force emergency trauma nurse enters information into a computer at Stamford Hospital-Bennett Medical Center, Stamford, Conn., May 14, 2020. (Senior Airman Nicholas Dutton/Air Force)

The list of the  top 100 managed service providers developed by SC Media’s sister brand ChannelE2E found strong performance among healthcare sector MSPs, reporting that the average annual recurring revenue for 2021 of the top healthcare MSPs was $9.8 million.

This strong performance is consistent with estimates by Vantage Market Research, which reported that the Digital Health Market may reach $430.52 billion by 2028, generating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9% during the forecast period.

Meanwhile, healthcare IT spending grew 7.3% in 2021 to reach $124 billion, Gartner said. Healthcare providers remain focused on digital transformation, leading to investments in software and IT services associated with cybersecurity, data analytics and virtual care, Gartner added.

Emil Sayegh, president and CEO of Ntirety, which ranked No. 3 in the ChannelE2E healthcare sector vertical rankings, said healthcare MSPs face three main challenges.

First, the healthcare sector has a checkered set of technology — mostly legacy technologies that are very vulnerable to the novel cyber-threats coming out of the ransomware gangs — and nefarious threat actors. Second, in many cases, healthcare-centered organizations underestimate the threats and overestimate their internal own IT capabilities to fend off cyberattackers. Finally, the healthcare sector has both stringent compliance requirements, as well as security requirements that are often confused and conflated. 

“Compliance without strong security is a mirage,” Sayegh said. “Healthcare organizations need to support greater cybersecurity urgency now. This includes reviewing security planning and embracing the leading principles of comprehensive cybersecurity. It also entails preparing to recover from a breach though proper disaster recovery and the assurance of compliance with new HIPAA and Hitrust regulations. Most importantly, ensuring that future attacks cannot be detrimental.”

David Sasson, chief strategy officer at Hanu, the No. 1 company on the healthcare vertical list, added that Hanu works with some of the largest healthcare providers as well as some innovative ISVs that are bringing the big digital change in the industry. Sasson said we are witnessing the acceleration of digital health, adoption of technology innovations and shifting business model innovations in the health industry.

There are, however, some barriers that delay the pace of cloud adoption in the industry, Sasson said: misconceptions around security and privacy of cloud-based data, resistance of organizational change, the complex nature of data governance regulations and more importantly low awareness of cloud benefits. While there are IT innovations leading the change, Sasson said there are healthcare leaders who still struggle to build a compelling business case and sustain the required investment to realize the value.

“Hanu has been conscious about these apprehensions and takes a deep consulting approach of engagement,” Sasson said. “With our in-house industry experts, industry-aligned frameworks and healthcare MSSP services, we enable our customers to innovate more effectively, especially in the new use cases of data and AI, while digitizing the key functions. We truly believe in the trillion-dollar potential of cloud technologies in the healthcare and are here to be part of the change.”

Here's a short thumbnail of the Top 5 Healthcare Sector MSPs:

  1. Hanu, Princeton, New Jersey:  The company’s experts plan, implement and fully manage every aspect of a health care organization’s migration to Azure, delivering ongoing administration, management and user support.
  2. C Spire Business, Ridgeland, Mississippi: Has more than 200 on staff engineers, each one with an average of 20 years of IT experience and three to five certifications.
  3. Ntirety, Austin, Texas: Operates, secures and manages public and private hybrid cloud environments. Has led customers from the early days of data hosting to managed security.
  4. Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Ramsey, New Jersey: Supports the digital transformation of its customers through comprehensive IT services and intelligent information management.
  5. Medicus IT LLC, Alpharetta, Georgia: Focuses on preventive IT service built for compliance and security issues. Aims to support the clinical workflows at medical practices and keep their revenue cycles running smoothly.