Cloud Solutions a Good Match for Non-Profit Organizations
July 01, 2014
For those outside of the non-profit organization climate, the needs of such a group can be difficult to grasp. Not only do non-profit organizations run into many of the same issues that small businesses encounter, but the nature of their work often spreads the company across wide areas—often internationally. In addition to rural areas with unreliable communication grids, NPOs also have to have the infrastructure to support proportionally large volunteer workforces. Thankfully, as pointed out by Business News Daily's Nicole Fallon, cloud-based solutions can help solve several of these issues and more.
For example, Fallon talks about the Wellbody Alliance, which has solved several of the field-based challenges associated with working in rural Sierra Leone by implementing cloud tools like Google (News - Alert) Docs and Dropbox. Remote staff member communication through email and telephone outlets was spotty, at best, and even VoIP solutions were as unreliable as a stable Internet connection for the organization, but sharing files directly on the cloud meant that as soon as a connection is established, files are instantly transferred.
Additionally, Cloud technology is an efficient way to connect volunteers to the organization's network while still maintaining proper security levels. While sensitive financial information is protected by firewalls, cloud technologies, like those offered by providers like CoreDial, allow different users to be placed on different security clearances, which gives volunteers access to exactly as much information as they need to do their jobs effectively.
“Volunteers are rarely completely integrated with the organization,” claims Hightail Chief Product Officer Matte Scheinjer. “They work outside the office and outside the firewall, so any technology solution has to work naively for people inside and outside the firewall. This is where robust, secure and intuitive mobile solutions become a necessity.” Ultimately, non-profit organizations can get the most out of a cloud-based infrastructure by treating the upgrade as an investment in the future of networking. Though the initial costs may be steep, ensuring that the network will be flexible enough for the next several years saves far more money in the long run.