A roadmap for nonprofit organizations as they consider options outside their own IT infrastructure for data and applications EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Many IT leaders at nonprofit organizations face significant challenges as they seek to reach a global audience, while keeping pace with technological innovations. Users and stakeholders expect nonprofits to provide technology similar to what they encounter in the private sector, while staffing, budgeting and data management issues may limit a nonprofit organization’s ability to provide those services. As IT decision-makers strive to meet ever-increasing demands, they often choose to deploy cloud-based solutions to assist them in providing modern, high-quality IT services. Cloud-based solutions bring agility, innovation and cost effectiveness to IT. However, they also present serious challenges for nonprofit organizations. When deploying IT services, nonprofits place a high priority on security and reliability, which are less understood factors for many IT leaders when considering cloud deployment. Nonprofit IT staff members may also lack the skills and experience required to implement locally constructed cloud services. Fortunately, many nonprofit organizations have found ways to address these obstacles and move to the cloud. They serve as role models for deploying cloud solutions in a nonprofit environment.
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cloud services ranked third on a list of CIO investment priorities for 2015, with 32 percent of CIOs listing it as a priority. That Maintaining an effective and secure on-premises IT marks a significant increase from the 27 percent of CIOs who infrastructure can be challenging. Data and mobility prioritized cloud investments in 2014. CIOs are rapidly deciding to requirements can stress aging infrastructures. This strain implement new services in the cloud and migrate legacy services can create difficulties for nonprofit IT leaders if they require to cloud environments. additional resources to help expand Cloud-based solutions promise to help their infrastructures to meet the nonprofit organizations overcome the limitations emerging demands of end users. of on-premises infrastructure by leveraging the At the same time, nonprofits economies of scale found in sharing infrastructure are challenged to attract and retain with many other customers. Cloud service providers qualified IT staff. Technologists with operate massive data centers that serve millions of specialized experience in highcustomers globally, and they can build and operate demand areas, such as networking, their systems at unprecedented scale. From turnkey The percentage of IT services security and database administration, Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to the today that are delivered totally command high salaries in the private technology building blocks of Infrastructure as a or partially by the cloud* sector. The candidates most qualified Service (IaaS), cloud providers noticeably reduce the for open positions often will not accept burden of IT on nonprofit organizations. the salary and benefits offered by As organizations begin cloud migration, they nonprofits. And as existing staff members develop hightypically find that SaaS solutions, as an alternative to enterprise demand skills, they often leave the nonprofit world for more software purchases, offer the greatest early value because of lucrative positions in the private sector. the ease of implementation and degree of cost savings. Email These budget and staffing challenges drive nonprofit storage and Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony are popular IaaS IT leaders to consider new and innovative approaches to solutions for the same reasons. computing. Existing on-premises IT infrastructure may Both of these categories deliver mature technology be unable to support the rise of new consumer- and datasolutions and offer nonprofit organizations a low-risk option oriented services. Yet
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