Rebooting the Charity Sector

The Cloud provides an alternative way for charities to manage IT services and many organisations are already aware that it can offer many benefits, including increased flexibility and reduced cost.

Cloud Services give you all the benefits of using a server-based IT solution to run your business, but without the overhead of purchasing and maintaining your own equipment in-house.

However, a recent article in Charities Management reported that 30% of the 3,700 respondents said cloud computing is one of the top concerns in terms of issues expected to impact security in the next 12 months. Data protection is a very serious issue, so it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons of cloud and to find a technology supplier who can advise as to whether in fact cloud services are the right solution for you, as opposed to in general. It’s important to understand the benefits and the risks and if and how cloud computing will co-exist with other IT services in your organisation.

There are also other choices you ideally need to think through with expert advice; for example aprivate cloud service is when it is used by a single organisation, whereas there is also the option of a community cloud service can provide better value for a specific community of organisations which have shared concerns and compliance requirements.

Having said all this, there are many benefits in terms of switching to the cloud generally:

Cloud Pros

  1. Cost- Because you won’t need to invest in expensive server hardware & software or hire costly IT technical staff to maintain them, start-ups and companies in need of an IT upgrade can save a great deal of money. No major initial investment is required to take advantage of the same enterprise-level technologies used by even the largest corporations. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection to begin taking advantage of The Cloud.
  2. Reclaim Your Office- Free up office-space, cut down on power bills and eliminate the disruptive noise generated by housing your entire IT infrastructure at your own office.
  3. Flexibility– You can tailor your subscription to exactly what you need and pay as you go. As your staffing needs change over time you can add/remove users and services and only pay for what you are currently using.
  4. Improved reliability, availabilityand speed (because of higher grade equipment at the datacenter).
  5. Work seamlessly from different locations and devices.

You can work from the office, home or on the move with your pc, laptop, or tablet. You can leave programs running, disconnect and then, when you reconnect, everything will be exactly where you left off, even if you connect from a different device.

In summary:

  • Think about your needs as an organisation.
  • Take expert advice as to whether The Cloud is right for you and what sort of cloud service/provider will be best before you make a decision.

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