November 26, 2013

Cloud Computing for Nonprofit Organizations?

Cloud computing for nonprofit organizations has become increasingly popular in recent years. The cloud’s versatile nature offers many benefits for all types of organizations, but has proven to be particularly successful for the nonprofit industry. Cetrom has been working with nonprofits and associations for over a decade, and we occasionally hear about associations who are unsatisfied with their current IT provider. Yet despite the inefficiencies and frustrations caused by their current system, they hold on to it for one reason or another. And believe us, we’ve heard them all:

  • Migrating to a new solution is too much of a hassle
  • It’s been too long since we have upgraded our system and now it’s too late
  • Upgrading to a new solution would be too costly
  • There are no resources we can spare to work on backend business or IT issues
  • The organization is small and doesn’t require enterprise-class IT

But that is the kind of thinking that can bury an organization. It’s about time these concerns are addressed directly. So, how do cloud providers respond? We can’t speak for others, but we are prepared to go point for point on the above issues. Migration What if we told you that changing over your IT system would cost you minimal-to-no downtime? Believe it. The cloud is an ideal technology option because it promotes uptime, even during the migration process. With Cetrom, your hosted environment is created off-line on test servers, allowing you to continue working while your data is migrated to the new solution. Updates Nonprofit IT solutions are often outdated, and many have gone years without any technical maintenance. While this may have caused migraines for you in the past, the cloud is an ideal choice for scenarios like this. For example, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) vendors like Cetrom provide their clients with new, up-to-date hardware equipment. Furthermore, IaaS support technicians handle updates, upgrades, and maintenance of your IT environment. Money Cost efficiency is a key factor in cloud computing for nonprofit organizations, as cloud services provide predetermined costs and budgets. They are usually billed monthly according to measured usage (like a utility bill), and monthly billing eliminates surprises or unexpected IT costs. Also, Cetrom (along with many other providers) is SSAE-16 compliant, and promotes financial transparency. While the term budgeted services may sound limiting, that is hardly the case. With the Cetrom cloud, organizations have the option to customize their IT solution to include only the applications they need. In other words, the solution is uniquely yours, which allows you to only pay for what you use. Not only is the cloud affordable, but it also saves you money in places you might not expect. For example, cloud computing is energy efficient and can reduce your monthly energy bill. It facilitates telecommuting, which allows you and your employees to save on automotive expenses. Also, the cloud extends the lifecycle of your IT equipment, saving you thousands in maintenance costs. Our cloud computing consultants can tell you even more about these surprising cloud savings. Manpower It’s true, finding the right provider and a fitting cloud solution is a bit of a process. But once the initial meetings are out of the way and the vendor knows exactly what you need, the provider takes care of the rest. Remember: the whole point of cloud computing is to make your IT operations run smoothly to support greater productivity for your business. We don’t want your employee resources, we want to be your employees’ resource. See the difference? Numbers There is no company too big or too small for the cloud. In fact, one of the cloud’s most valuable assets is its scalability potential. Scalability means that the cloud has the ability to perform at the same level, whether two people or 200 people are using it at once.   To learn more about cloud computing for nonprofit organizations, and what the cloud can do for your business, contact our cloud specialists today.

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