3 Ways Cloud Technology Helps Non-Profit

February 4, 2011

Non-profit organizations need to be efficient and effective managing donors, employees, and other stakeholders to succeed in bringing their vision to life.

One of the realities of being a non-profit organization (especially in a tough economy) is facing some competition for funds with other non-profits to sustain critical programs. While there are no easy answers, cloud services can help your team in three ways: (1) expands IT role to take on more strategic tasks, (2) lowers the total cost of technology, and (3) brings a hardworking, mission-focused team together.

(1) Expansion of IT Role

If you’re working for a non-profit organization, your IT department is likely swamped with end user issues on a daily basis.  While the cloud doesn’t take away the end users, it does promise a 99.9% uptime guarantee.  This means your organization’s email will be up and running anytime of day and the IT department can now focus its energies on more strategic goals for the organization.

(2) Lowers Costs

Lowering the cost of hardware can make a big difference to the bottom line, which means more resources to spend on those critical programs. Cloud services provide the benefit of little to no upfront costs and since the costs are scalable, you can predict monthly budgets depending on the number of users and which services are active.

(3) Brings a mission-focused team together

Non-profit organizations work hard every day to provide essential services to their community. One way to streamline processes and reward employee dedication is to provide resources that allow for more flexibility and timely access to information. A cloud-based email and file sharing service gives employees anywhere, anytime access to the information they need and promotes collaboration with fast visibility into calendars, shared files, and online presence of other coworkers. From the office – to board meetings – to a donor’s door, the cloud can keep your employees in sync.

How People for Puget Sound Benefited from Cloud Services

Cole Coleman from People for Puget Sound speaks about his experience with the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) with an emphasis on the ease of migration and compatibility across multiple operating systems.

Friendly Advice: Be sure to discuss any changes with your IT staff or an outside consultant, as not all cloud services are needed for every organization.   If you’d like an assessment, please call Aaron Nettles at (206) 781-1797 and see if your organization is ready for the cloud!


3 Key Reasons for Small Business to Move to the Cloud in 2010

March 17, 2010

After reading Global CIO: The Top 10 CIO Issues For 2010” by Bob Evans published in Information Week, I started to think about the how his top 10 applies or translates to small business. Why should small business consider moving the cloud critical in 2010 to long-term success . As a small business owner, below is my take, I have condensed down to 3 key areas of opportunity.

Gain a Competitive Advantage in 2010

 As a small business, you have the advantage of agility and time to market. Focus on your customers’ needs and offer services before your larger competition. As a small business, typically the owner/CEO is the CIO. You do not have budget for trial and error or sourcing ongoing IT projects that have nothing to do with adding to your bottom line. If you’re looking for areas to cut cost and gain a competitive edge against your competition, moving core IT operations to the cloud should be a priority this year. The move will enable you to achieve the following:

1. Less IT spend, more investment in your business. Spend your budget on process improvement, customer acquisition, and retention; and let someone else worry about IT infrastructure. Implement communication and collaboration solutions that provide rich interaction and improve productivity and process automation to your sales team and customers. For example, improve your website to make purchasing your products or services simpler, provide an easy mechanism for your customers to interact with you and get answers quick.

2. Stay nimble as your business grows. Small businesses should learn from the IT issues of big business, and don’t get caught in the weeds. Understand critical business functions that can be moved to the cloud; select a trusted vendor that is stable, secure, and has a solid roadmap. Your customers will appreciate your capability to respond to their needs quickly, accurately, and with flexibility. Besides, it should be easier to integrate strategic process now than when you have tripled in size.

3. Reduce areas of overhead. This is not a fun topic, however as a small business overhead can tip the scales between success or extinction. Cloud technologies offer services agreements and system stability that require less investment IT management.

Vorsite is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner. We provide business solutions supported by Microsoft Cloud Services to small and mid-sized business. Vorsite was founded in 2000; we have successfully on-boarded over 85 businesses to the cloud since 2009.

You can find more information about Business Solutions in the Cloud on http://www.msonlineforbusiness.com


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