Cloud tools and services offer organisations more versatile and scalable IT - here’s a quick guide to how.
This article is sponsored by AWS - reliable, scalable, and inexpensive on-demand cloud computing services built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organisations.
Cloud computing is what you might call a "no brainer" - 90% of companies worldwide are using it, and for good reason. The cloud represents an unprecedented opportunity for charities as better use of resources can help them provision their limited budgets better, plus be kinder the environment in many cases. Added to this, eligible charities can get huge discounts on cloud products on the Charity Digital Exchange, where they can get access to donated and discounted products from Microsoft’s Office 365 to Adobe and AWS. Here are the key ways the cloud can help charities save money:
Flexiblity is central to the cloud model, and the key reason that organisations have adopted it. One of the major benefits of the cloud for optimising cost is that you can use only what you need as you need it, rather than wasting resources paying for more than you need. This is particularly useful should you need certain services at certain times of year and not others, or need to scale as your organisation or workload grows. Charities often have staff, volunteers and partners who’s work varies throughout the year - cloud services are easy to adjust accordingly whereas in-house IT is a lot more fixed according to the licenses and the kit you have. Speaking of licenses and kit...
Without the need to maintain a server array, the European Commission estimates that adopting a cloud solution could lead to a 20% to 50% reduction of total IT costs, thanks to reduced IT infrastructure investment and lower maintenance costs. Not only do servers, and the staff/contractors to maintain them, mean a signficant knock to the budget, consider the shorter lifespan of PCs and the need to replace and upgrade them. With physical servers, there is also the need to install anti-virus software, along with license costs, installation, cooling systems, the space to host the server... the list goes on, but the costs of running IT in-house can add up considerably.
Moving to cloud applications or storage can help maximise space and significantly cut energy expenditures, by removing the need for power-hungry physical servers at your presmises. Good news for the annual electricity bill!
The cloud is mobile by nature, allowing remote access to cloud apps and data from any device, anywhere. This helps charities avoid being tied down to one location, which means you only need to pay for the user when they are required, not necessarily their desk or computer. IT workloads are also a lot less for staff, allowing them to concentrate their time and efforts to driving innovation and building new products and services that will help charities to succeed at their missions. But the added benefit is the ability to be more productive and accomplish more with less time. Charities can easily and cheaply test out tools and services they need to do the job the best they can, and scrap them if they’re not useful or needed.