It’s been an IT industry buzzword for the past 5 years. By now, you’ve probably heard about it in passing and you might have even been told that it would be a good resource for your business. But you might have been asking yourself, what exactly is the cloud and why should my Not-for-profit business care?
Well we’re demystifying the cloud concept and identifying how it can specifically help you as a NFP.
So, what’s this cloud thing?
Picture being able to pack up your entire office, all of your important files and data, into a tiny, convenient little box that you could then carry around with you and access anytime, anywhere. The best part? It’s virtually weightless. Sounds like a pretty neat deal right?
While a box like this doesn’t exist in this capacity, this scenario essentially explains what the cloud is. It is a virtual vault of sorts that can be accessed only by you and simply makes doing your job easier. Your essential business systems can be run via the internet, allowing you full time access to your important files and projects. In addition, should there be a problem with your hardware or physical devices, the cloud makes it so that you can still work while in recovery. So think of it as a means to bring your office with you, minus the walls.
Ok, now that we’ve that covered that, how does the cloud benefit you as a NFP?
First off, aside from the obvious storage/recovery capability, the cloud offers a means for many NFPs to capitalize on their IT resources without breaking their budget in the process. Many nonprofits have limited IT resources for financial reasons or otherwise and with the cloud at their beck and disposal, they gain a powerful technology resource for a fraction of the cost of hardware. With the cloud, security and operations costs are spread out across thousands of organizations making it so that the main user only pays for the amount that they use. In addition, you can get a real time view of your organization and how it is running. Just what else can your NFP gain from the cloud? See below!
- Anytime, anywhere access
- Helps improve transparency, efficiency and effectiveness
- Conserve IT resources for business development projects
- Integrate technologies more seamlessly and without error
Smoother corporate growth