The Advantages of Cloud Computing for Nonprofits and Why Organizations Need to Adapt
Tierney Smith of TechSoup Canada sums up the advantages nicely: “The move towards the cloud holds a lot of exciting potential for nonprofits of all sizes. Not only are many organizations able to realize cost savings through not having to run and maintain their own server(s) (or pay a consultant to do so), many cloud tools enable new levels of sharing and collaboration, which can transform how we work. We live in a world where our supporters are looking to us for greater transparency and there is an increasing need to partner with other organizations to achieve real impact. Using the right cloud tools can help us break down the barriers we currently face and be the more open, effective, and resilient organizations that we need to be.”
Reduced Support and Hardware Needs
As you move more business-critical applications into the cloud, you’ll likely find that you don’t need to upgrade computers as regularly, and many employees can make do without higher-end computers. That’s because the actual computing isn’t happening on the computer: A $200 tablet can access your Salesforce and Google Apps accounts just as quickly as a $2,000 premium laptop can. Similarly, you may find that a cloud computing infrastructure requires a smaller IT staff than a traditional IT setup does because your organization won’t be managing the software anymore.
Anywhere, Anytime Collaboration
Software as a service can act as a great simplifier for many organizations. If you have staff members working off-site, they can access their work just as easily at home as they can in the office. If they’re using a private or secure Wi-Fi connection, there’s also no need to set up a virtual private network (VPN).
What’s more, cloud tools can make it easier to collaborate with colleagues from outside the organization. If you’re planning an event with staff from another nonprofit, for example, it’s easy to create a Basecamp project where everyone can see each other’s work. People working in the same organization might benefit from team collaboration tools like shared calendars, video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing via Office 365.
A Green Choice
Cloud computing solutions are also generally greener than traditional IT because they require less in-office IT equipment. While huge datacenters require a lot of electricity, it’s still a lot less than the thousands of office-grade computers it would take to perform the same big tasks. Large cloud computing providers can also optimize their datacenters for energy efficiency much more precisely than manufacturers of desktops and laptops can.
Head over to read the full article at TechSoup.
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