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Nonprofits look to the cloud for optimization

August 2nd, 2013 by - 1,176 views

Nonprofit organizations are similar to other companies in the fact that they need to innovate to survive because the nature of the business world currently functions based on a dog-eat-dog mindset. If nonprofit firms don’t have the ability to maximize efficiency through an optimized IT budget, they’ll struggle to stay competitive, fall behind, and eventually be wiped from existence.

This concern is encouraging nonprofits to implement cloud computing technologies in an effort to keep costs down without sacrificing their ability to leverage next-generation tools that will give them an edge in today’s fast-paced, always-progressing corporate landscape. A recent j2 Global report revealed that savvy nonprofits are implementing the cloud to improve anytime connectivity, allowing decision-makers to support a mobile workforce without introducing unnecessary complexities and challenges. In fact, 30 percent of nonprofits said they have upgraded at least some of their technologies to improve efficiency within the past year.

Nonprofits look to the cloud for optimization

Nonprofits look to the cloud for optimization

As the mobile landscape evolves, for example, executives need to provide employees with the opportunity to use these tools or companies risk losing individuals to competitors. If nonprofit agencies use cloud computing, they have the unique opportunity to embrace “bring your own device” (BYOD) as well as other mobile strategies without compromising productivity or security. This is because a cloud infrastructure is agnostic in the sense that it doesn’t discriminate against platform type or location, which makes it an ideal architecture to support a growing remote workforce.

Still, j2 Global highlighted some important tips that firms should take into consideration when launching a mobile and cloud endeavor.

Take advantage of advanced features for less
Just because an individual isn’t working from inside the office doesn’t mean that person should lose his or her professionalism, j2 Global noted. In other words, decision-makers need to be proactive by educating employees on the risks and challenges associated with carrying out corporate tasks from alternative locations, while simultaneously providing workers with the solutions they need to operate effectively.

In many cases, hosting a sophisticated phone system such as VoIP in the cloud can give employees the ability to use advanced call forwarding, voicemail, and other features without putting too much pressure on the budget as a whole. This is especially important for nonprofits that need to get the biggest bang for their buck to survive.

Realize security, privacy, and reliability benefits
When employees carry out mission-critical tasks through their personal smartphones, tablets, or other gadgets, there is an inherent risk of encountering unforeseen vulnerabilities. This is largely because the mobile landscape is relatively unfamiliar and constantly evolving. Fortunately, nonprofits can embrace a private cloud infrastructure that is easier to manage and secure, allowing executives to implement tools and policies to keep confidential assets safe.

A recent Microsoft study highlighted how companies are experiencing significant security, privacy and reliability benefits when migrating to the cloud.

“The real silver lining in cloud computing is that it enables companies not only to invest more time and money into growing their business but to better secure their data and to do so with greater degrees of service reliability as well,” said Adrienne Hall of Microsoft.

As the competitive nature of the business world continues to grow more fierce with each passing year, nonprofit executives who have not yet moved to adopt the cloud need to consider doing so or risk not being able to compete with other organizations. By planning ahead and working with a trusted cloud provider, decision-makers can find the most appropriate cloud services that align with their long-term objectives and keep productivity at the top of their priorities.

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