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Nonprofits And The Cloud: An Examination Of Future Computing

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The future of administrative computing for nonprofits and other organizations lies in the cloud. Experts say that over the next decade more and more people will access software applications and other web services using a variety of physical devices. However, questions remain over how nonprofits and other organizations can better utilize the cloud, instead of relying on personal computers, to better run services that are critical to day-to-day operations.

As reported inTechSoup’s three-part series, based off a recent survey examining the cloud’s use among NGOs, many barriers prevent organizations from fully migrating to the use of cloud services. Concerns over security, cost, and web access remain large factors, but experts say a lack of knowledge is the single largest barrier that troubles organizations as they transfer operational services to the Cloud.

TechSoup’s series details the advantages of cloud computing while also addressing the major challenges facing the organizations struggling to complete the transformation. Using a survey in which users cite specific barriers preventing a full switch to the cloud, and the advantages of its current use, TechSoup’s experts discuss ways to overcome challenges and implement a more inefficient use of the newest cloud-related tools.

Check out TechSoup’s series to learn more about how the cloud is changing the way nonprofits and other organizations run daily operations, and how to overcome the barriers that still limit its optimal use.

 

  • Josephine David

    Interesting points about non-profit in the cloud. I think we’ve gone a bit overboard on the cloud hype and it worries and confuses many of us. Our non-profit has settled on just two that need to be offsite and on the internet: stakeholder collaboration and backup. From non-profit perspective the big benefits from cloud come from collaboration portals– communicating and sharing information with project members, board members, staff, etc. This means being able to have folks access and retrieve pertinent documents, cases, etc, without having to call and meet about every little thing. So of course that means it needs to easy and secure. If the collaboration portal isn’t easy, no one will use it and get confused. Consequently admin costs actually go up if it’s complicated. There are a ton of confusing collab portals out there. We tried a lot of them. Our pick here is Centroy. Easy and intuitive… for users. And make sure it’s encrypted and has archiving– showstoppers not be overlooked. Centroy again won there. The other important “cloud” thingy–perhaps more boring– is backup. If a drive failure hasn’t happened to you, it will someday and if you lose data, well…. Two things here to consider: easy to set up and automate. You don’t need to have a tech guy involved. The other thing is reliability and time retrieval. Here you should test them out with free trials. But also google “data loss” and pick the online backup vendor. There are complaints of all of them loosing data, although seems few and far between. We like Crashplan because we can backup the same data to the cloud as well as each other’s PC drives. Kind of double data insurance piece of mind. So far so good for us.