Leveraging the cloud to strengthen your technology platform
The cloud is one of the biggest technology enablers for nonprofits, and has become a valuable information technology (IT) tool for many organizations. The cloud can provide real advantages to your organization that were previously out of reach, including scalable solutions and cost savings, with more access, security and efficiency. However, the cloud is more than just a single solution, and it’s important to understand what an implementation involves and how to choose the right solution.
As the cloud matures, it has become a particularly attractive technology solution for nonprofit organizations, offering a more cost-effective alternative to a traditional technology department. It provides a predictable, manageable expense, agility to scale up and down as needed, and the ability to reduce reliance on on-premise systems. It can also help your organization better align IT resources with organizational strategies, providing more support for mission goals.
Many organizations may not realize that three different cloud options provide differing levels of security and functionality. The public cloud can include vendor-managed cloud applications and environments, and also offers a virtual environment to house your software and data, replacing on-premise facilities and equipment with access through a web browser and internet connection. In a private cloud environment, your organization owns some (or all) of the dedicated equipment and maintains increased control, but can still take advantage of an ongoing subscription model and reduced maintenance requirements. Finally, the hybrid cloud is a custom platform, blending elements of on-premise systems with private and public cloud solutions.
Forward-thinking organizations should be analyzing and making decisions about the cloud by prioritizing capability, performance, total cost and availability against other options. Developing a cloud road map can help your organization determine which parts of your IT infrastructure align to specific cloud solutions and reveal opportunities to improve performance and make more strategic technology investments.
For more information on how to implement a successful cloud strategy for your organization, read RSM’s recent e-book, Navigating your way through the cloud journey.