Technology Management

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.

Storm the Castle! Staging an IT Coup in 5 Steps

June 7, 2012

Here’s the situation: You are the IT person in your organization, but you don't have a seat at the decision-making table or you don’t feel that IT gets the respect it deserves. If this describes you or someone you know, or you just like having outlandish metaphors applied to office life, read on.

Have Your Feet On The Ground When Looking At The Cloud

May 24, 2012
As I said in The Cloud: Not As Airy As You Thought, cloud computing is a boon to startup nonprofits and businesses as well as those that are growing. Here's a case study, from Jason Hutchins, president of Nonprofit Solutions Network. A small nonprofit, with a staff of seven. Server is maxed out, ready to be replaced. Question: New in-house server or move into the cloud? Answer:The cloud.

The Cloud: Not As Airy As You Thought

May 23, 2012
Let's start with the basics. “Cloud computing” isn't really a cloud. It's a bunch of servers in a far-off, climate-controlled locked room, watched over by some serious techies. It's just not your own server in your own room with your own techie. And the server holds your information right next to information from a whole lot of other people. The cloud is often described as a “utility based” service. Like electricity, water, or gas, you pay for what you use and can increase the amount you use as needed. Also like utilities, it's a lot cheaper to use Con Edison than it is to buy and maintain your own generator and meters.

CRM is Exactly What Your Nonprofit Needs

May 23, 2012
I recently had a conversation with a colleague about the advantages and disadvantages of using a constituent relationship management (CRM) system such as Salesforce to manage multiple types of relationships. Their main argument against it was that while managing all the information in one location is tempting, it not practical if the organization has multiple complex processes. Consider Habitat for Humanity (HFH) – in this case, a mid-west chapter.

Google Drive: Does It Matter?

May 14, 2012

On April 24, Google announced the much anticipated Google Drive service, a cloud-based "disk drive" where individuals and organizations can store there documents, spreadsheets and a host of other electronic files. That may sound like a big deal but organizations and individuals with Google accounts could do that already using Google Docs. So does Google Drive really matter?

In short, the answer is yes!

Developing a Cloud Migration Strategy, Part 2: Process, Costs & Things to Consider

May 10, 2012
We may have jumped the gun a little by discussing what systems to migrate in part 1 of this look at developing a cloud migration strategy, but now we're going to ask and answer the question of How to Migrate. Migrating to a cloud based application or service is different from installing some software or server in your office. It is imperative that you read and understand the legal agreement you're signing because governs the business and service relationship you are establishing. Cloud service providers are looking out for their best interests in these agreements and you should too. Here are some typical questions you should answer as part of evaluating a new solution: