Like the vast majority of businesses operating when COVID-19 hit, charities have also been hit very hard during this whole pandemic, with the inability to open stores or plan any fundraising events. Consequently, charities have had to evolve to change the way in which they operate.
More and more charities and not-for-profit organisations have shifted their attention towards undertaking a full digital transformation starting with making the move to the Cloud in order to help them to scale up, reduce costs and improve security. In addition to giving charities that added flexibility when it comes to infrastructure, moving to the Cloud allows them to store more data. Having this added flexibility is one of the greatest challenges that charities face and continue to face in the coming months given their services are in high demand.
As fingers crossed we return to full normality next year, most charities and not-for-profits will look to adapt by moving to a hybrid model that incorporates both digital services alongside in-person services. Therefore, this will mean that the Cloud will be vital in helping charities to support those in need.
The Cloud holds the key to improving performance
It goes without saying but many charities and not-for-profits have major concerns about investing in new tech at a time when budgets are constrained and fundraising difficult. However, another way of looking at it is the fact that their workloads will increase, there will be greater demands on services as well as new operating models which will be almost impossible without some form of innovation. When your charity or not-for-profit is or will be at this point, the Cloud is certainly the way forward.
When this moment comes, charities will need to have a well-rounded view of what workloads will need to be moved to the Cloud. To put this into context in the form of an example ‘we want our fundraising system in the Cloud’ - and then we would have to go backwards to put together a process that will meet this requirement. Moreover, file sharing, clear communications and much, much more can be achieved by making use of this process.
We all know that in a charity time is precious, therefore it is important to make sure that each workload adds value as it will not only help to keep costs to a minimum but also to maintain performance. Therefore through taking a softly, softly approach, you will be to gradually increase your Cloud capabilities. When not-for-profits and charities are told about their consumption levels, they can reassure their stakeholders that they will have loads to gain from the Cloud’s scalability without a high cost.
There are no doubts that charities have been squeezed and will continue to be squeezed by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Added to the tricky finances in many, is the fact that more users wanted to use their services. As we begin to live with the after effects of COVID-19, even in light of less restrictions, there will still be a significant reliance on these services long past 2022.
Therefore, it goes without saying but charities/not-for-profits will need to be prepared for this by dramatically expanding their IT resources to keep up with the levels of demand. This becomes much more problematic if you are still operating with an old and dated IT infrastructure. Furthermore, upscaling this old technology can prove expensive for charities and will not give them the flexibility or scale that they need. Instead of flogging a dead horse in outdated tech, it could be in your best interests to take the next step and transform your charity and make the move to the Cloud.
Teamwork makes the dream work at distance in a safe way
Let’s face it, we’ve all had our challenges when it comes to remote working and evolving to cope with the rapid changes in customer behaviour since COVID-19 hit our shores. Along with these challenges, charities/not-for-profits have also faced their own with the growing need for great collaboration between partners, volunteers and donors to meet and exceed their overall objectives.
This success is mapped out by the ability of key stakeholders in a charity or not-for-profit to collaborate, so being able to achieve this effectively and safely has been vital to this concept working. Through the use of cloud-based applications can aid with the process of collaboration so charities looking for ways of reducing costs should consider what is already out there!
To give you an example of this by using Microsoft Teams, a full collaboration tool which is like Dynamics 365 can be used by charities for categorising volunteer work, providing a means for internal communications and much, much more. Through the use of the greatest Cloud hosing service on the market, your charity can use it to only host your website but also other content. Furthermore, charities/not-for-profits need to understand how best to protect data that will be shared and stored in the Cloud which previously was communicated in person or on-premise pre-pandemic.
The best way to go when it comes to Cloud providers is through Microsoft Azure, however, most charities won't have this level of expertise in-house to be able to keep data secure. This can often be the thing that holds back organisations from moving to the Cloud.
It is therefore in a charity’s best interest to bring in the IT experts like ourselves to hold their hand through the whole process of making the move to the Cloud. That way, they are on hand to enable charities to complete risk assessments before the migration process starts to ensure that security isn't compromised from the outset. The reason for this is the fact that charities/not-for-profits have lots of sensitive information in their hands. This means that they need expert advice on how they can evaluate security protocols associated with Cloud solutions to ensure that this data is identified, secured and safeguarded now and in the future.
Look long term not short term
Being able to adapt & innovate are vital in order for charities and not-for-profits to survive this pandemic. Many charities have had to put the brakes on face-to-face projects still because of the pandemic making it difficult to help the most vulnerable and stalling any fundraising efforts. Making this move to the Cloud and digitalising systems will enable charities/not-for-profits to deliver their most in demand services and keep down costs.
Granted, a move to the Cloud isn't straightforward nor is it easy to manage after implementation as it can be complex and labour-intensive. However, through the use of a partner such as Advantage can help charities/not-for-profits that don’t have the technical expertise necessary to streamline this process. Better still, these experts are much cheaper than training or hiring in-house staff.
It is absolutely crucial to prepare charities’ IT systems now as we continue to ease restrictions. Enabling you to have the infrastructure in place no matter what challenges are ahead.
If you are interested in talking to one of our experts today about moving your existing charity/not-for-profit system to the Cloud, please don’t delay, call our team today.
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