Thought Leadership on Outlook: Where’s Business Technology Heading presented by American Technology Services, Inc. (ATS®)
By now, most in the nonprofit world are familiar with the cloud, although many are still not taking full advantage of its numerous benefits.
Let’s start with the basics. Simply put, the cloud refers to software and services that run on hardware owned and operated by a third party provider. The information is stored in massive, off-site data centers instead of the organization’s own internal servers and computer hard drives. Heard of Apple’s iCloud or Dropbox? They are just a few of the many cloud services available to the public.
To put into perspective how popular the cloud has become, spending on cloud services at the end of 2015 was projected to surpass $180 billion! But why is the cloud a good choice for me? Here are a few reasons:
- Scalability. Easily grow, or scale back, depending on individual needs.
- Disaster recovery. Backup and recovery mechanisms are built into cloud technology, which save time and headaches downstream.
- Automatic updates. An organization doesn’t need to worry about regular software updates – the cloud partner handles system maintenance on their behalf.
- Work where you want. Staff doesn’t need to be chained to their desk to get the work done. Cloud-based file sharing apps store files in a central location, allowing teams to access, share, and work on documents from anywhere, all in real-time.
- Security. Lost and stolen laptops happen frequently. Since data is stored in the cloud, and not on a machine, recovery of the information is instantaneous. Data security is another key area where cloud technology outweighs what an organization can do on its own.