Topic: Cloud

Best of 2012: Nonprofit Technology Grows Up

December 11, 2012
When NTEN asked me to write a "best tech of 2012" post, I struggled a bit. I could tell you about the great new iPads and Nexus tablets; the rise of the really big phones; the ascendency of Salesforce; and the boundary-breaking, non-gaming uses of MicroSoft's Kinect. These are all significant product developments, but I think that the David Pogues and Walter Mossberg's out there will have them covered.

Transitioning Your Nonprofit to the Cloud

November 19, 2012
Recently, Heller Consulting presented a webinar series for NTEN about transitioning to the cloud. The series, "Transitioning your nonprofit to the Cloud: To Infinity and Beyond," consisted of three webinars covering the topics of Security and Risk, Data Migration, and Preparing Your Organization. With all technology projects, there are considerations around strategy, tactics, technology and people; we addressed each of these areas, providing participants with actionable steps to take back to their organizations, and (we hope) quite a bit of food for thought.

Backups in the Cloud

November 13, 2012
While I won't explore all the ins and outs of disaster recovery in this post, or backup schemes for that matter, I will look at some of the popular cloud-based offerings and compare them to their traditional counterparts. Sound good?

Hosting Nonprofit CRM Donor Systems in the Cloud

November 6, 2012
There is a fair amount of discussion about the “cloud” when it comes to nonprofits and their technological next steps. We hear about the iCloud, Google Apps, Amazon, and other solutions that draw on the language of the “cloud” to describe what they do. You may also hear this referred to as “Online”, “Hosted”, or “Web Based” software. Yet what exactly is the cloud? In short, it is a buzzword that refers to software and services that can be accessed via the internet that do not require software to be installed on your local computer or network. There are a multitude of configurations with many vendors offering services that can be considered “cloud-based.” The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) has a helpful definition of the cloud, stating, “Any software accessed over the Internet can be considered cloud software, including everything from Facebook to broadcast email tools … to online accounting systems and constituent databases.”

Sharing Back-Offices in the Cloud: The Case of Environment America

July 26, 2012
Data is dynamic, not static, and so are organizations—which means that over time, the data they need to track changes as they change. Identifying those evolving data points takes effort and thoughtfulness, especially for an organization whose staff is already burdened tracking data for funder-mandated reporting requirements.

Cloud Computing for Nonprofits: the Risks How to Overcome Them

June 14, 2012
A recent NTEN survey of 780 nonprofits revealed that 91% of respondents are using some sort of hosted software. In fact, almost 80% are using multiple cloud-based solutions. However, according to NTEN’s report, “the feature-set, ease of use and cost over time” were more important to them than whether or not a solution was cloud-based. These advantages are precisely why the Cloud is generating a lot of excitement in the nonprofit world these days. Remote access, reduced operating expenses, and less maintenance enable nonprofits to cut costs, operate more efficiently and devote more time and money to their core mission. Some organizations have moved their entire IT infrastructure to the Cloud with dramatic results.

Into the Cloud: IWRC

June 8, 2012
Founded in 1973, the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council provides professional support for wildlife rehabilitators, including continuing education, a peer-reviewed journal and an annual symposium. Though the organizations reachlike its board membersis global, most of the work is done by two staff members who work mostly from home with the support of a part-time employee and a dozen independent contractors.

Into the Cloud: AED

June 8, 2012
When the Academy for Educational Development (AED) found communicating and collaborating through email difficult and unreliable, the large humanitarian organization had more than 3,600 staff members spread out across 80 countries, it turned to the Cloud for a solution that was both easier to use and cheaper to maintain.