4 Questions to Ask Before Sending Your Organization to the Cloud

Clouds are beautiful thing. But wait, what kind of cloud did you expect? We aren’t talking about the kind that carry rain or appear white and fluffy on a warm summer day. Instead, we’re talking about the cloud infrastructure that could transform your organization. You know, the cloud that uses your server as software.

So, should you switch? What every decision boils down to is if the pros outweigh the cons. And if they do, the answer should be simple. But no two organizations are alike, and that’s why switching to the cloud infrastructure may not be for everybody. To help make your decision, consider what the cloud can do for you.

Ask these questions before switching to determine if a cloud infrastructure will have your organization floating on cloud nine.

Would it be More Cost Effective to Switch?

When it comes to cost, a study conducted by O’Reilly Media found that cloud infrastructure could save 29 percent of certain costs, as opposed to an Internal IT or Managed Services Structure. The costs where savings occurred included places like setup costs, capital investment and rising costs over a three year period. If you currently use an Internal IT or Managed Services structure, it may be time for a switch. Whatever infrastructure you currently use, think about what costs you would both reduce and incur from the switch.

Are There New Advancements that We Can Utilize with the Cloud?

Not only are there ways to utilize the cloud for your volunteers and donors, but of course there are ways to internally help your organization. From easy and numerous ways to backup your files, to ditching the old hardware and managing other helpful web tools that you can access from anywhere, there are many tools that the cloud offers for your organization.

Or, maybe your organization is content with the system it currently uses and the types of benefits that it offers. No matter the decision, you’ll need to decide what works best to help you achieve your mission in the long run.

Can Our IT Department Handle the Shift?

One of the biggest worries about changing your technology storage and infrastructure is the effect that the transition will have on your IT department, or whoever handles the technology. A common misconception is that the switch to the cloud will decrease the need for an IT department. On the contrary, the switch will just have your IT personnel doing things a little bit differently. If you are comfortable with your IT department and they are known to adapt to change well, then the switch shouldn’t be much of a hassle. The best way to know is to talk with your IT department before making the switch to see if they are up for the challenge and to discuss what it would mean for them.

How Will This Change Our Security and Risks?

This all depends on the type of cloud that you choose to operate with. If you decide to use a private cloud, the security will still remain intact and at a low risk for your data to get out. However, there are different options when it comes to the cloud. When choosing what infrastructure to use, keep your organization’s needs in mind. It could be more cost effective to share a cloud infrastructure with others, but it would also increase security risks.

What was the reason you decided to move (or not to move) to the cloud?


Lyndsey Hrabik

Lyndsey is a former editor for Nonprofit Hub and Nonprofit Hub Magazine. She now serves as a guest contributor, writing on topics such as social media, technology, marketing and starting a nonprofit.

October 19, 2012

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