Cloud computing is a new-age technology that has seen exponential growth despite a sluggish economy. But the question is – can non-profit organizations benefit from this revolutionary technology?
What is cloud computing?
Cloud technology allows a user to access computer hardware and software resources over the Internet, without needing to have specific know-how about the infrastructure that is used to deliver these resources. Simply put, it is computing wherein large groups of remote servers are used to centrally store data and allow online access to computer resources or services. There are three types of clouds – private, public and hybrid. Cloud technology has a focus on maximizing how effective the shared resources are.
What does this mean for nonprofits?
There is immense pressure, demand for transparency and oversight being experienced by nonprofits today. No matter what the focus might be - competition for funding, government compliance, or accountability for outcomes – it is important for nonprofit organizations to have access to technology tools that offer them the edge to reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase visibility. As many nonprofits have opened the doors to cloud technology, they have started to reap the benefits this new-age technology can provide.
What are the benefits of cloud technology?
The following are the key benefits of cloud computing:
Remote access and mobility
For nonprofits, remote access and mobility are two very critical factors. It is a huge factor in the productivity and efficiency of any nonprofit campaign, allowing grant writers to work remotely, program managers to work offsite and board members to be on the road. When an organization has 24/7 Internet access and share data, its chances of efficiency is greatly improved and real-time insights and actions from a management perspective is a reality. The mobility capabilities of cloud technology allow external and internal stakeholders to gain access to approvals, metrics and financial reports, no matter where they are, or where these resources may be located.
Reducing IT costs is yet another benefit that non-profits can enjoy when they adopt cloud computing technology. Through the elimination of hardware costs and the reduction of IT and software costs, nonprofit organizations are automatically reducing their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Associating with cloud technology allows nonprofits to reduce dependence on scarce IT resources, escape the hassle of installing, upgrading and maintaining solutions, and offers employees’ more free time so that they may concentrate on the mission of the organization instead. Cloud computing also offers nonprofits enterprise-class security, disaster recovery and backups, therefore allowing them to reduce their technology risk at a much lower cost than if they were to attempt doing it themselves.
A greener alternative
Cloud technology is definitely a greener alternative because lesser servers are built and kept running. This means less water and toxic materials need to be used, less energy is consumed and less toxic materials are dumped.
Most often, it only takes a few minutes to set up a cloud computing account. This quick deployment saves on a lot of time for nonprofits.
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