Is Your Organization "in the Cloud?"
June 7th, 2012
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If you use Facebook, Constant Contact, or any other software accessed over the Internet, you are “in the cloud.” Though the term the “cloud” was not used commonly until 2007, the concept has been around awhile. Since we seem to hear so much more about the cloud these days, a fair and necessary question to ask is: what does it have to do with nonprofits?
In the fall of last year, NTEN set out to determine the “State of the Nonprofit Cloud”: were nonprofits relying on cloud-based computing and if so, how much and in what capacities?
After surveying 780 nonprofits, NTEN found that 91 percent of the nonprofits were using cloud-based software, though at first, they may not have realized it.
Participating nonprofits reported using cloud-based systems for staff email, broadcast email, and office software for functions such as word processing and spreadsheets. Most nonprofits appeared to be satisfied with the cloud solutions they were utilizing with almost 80 percent indicating that they were using more than one cloud solution.
According to the survey, nonprofits selected cloud-based software due to its benefit of remote access, features, ease of maintenance, ease of use, and cost effectiveness. Nonprofits also reported that the transition to cloud-based solutions freed up IT staff for other tasks and allowed them to outsource IT duties that they did not have the staff to handle.
The biggest concern about utilizing cloud solutions had to do with security/privacy issues while uncertainties about unauthorized access and reliability of access also came into play. However, according to the experts, “nonprofits’ fears about unauthorized access were generally unwarranted, and cloud solutions are typically no less secure than any other computer connected to the Internet.”
To access the complete study, click here. As a bonus, look inside for case studies on ways nonprofits have moved into the cloud in terms of finance, board collaboration, and more!
FOR DISCUSSION: How is your organization using the "cloud?" What benefits have you seen? Drawbacks?
Posted by CNP Staff
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