Comic Relief recently raised an outstanding £78 million as part of its ‘Red Nose Day’ telethon. Their website was inundated with visitors. Far more than during normal periods.
How did they manage to afford all the extra IT equipment – servers, networks and so on – that is necessary to deal with such a huge increase in traffic and maximise donations?
With the cloud.
Cloud computing keeps costs to a minimum for non-profits so that they can focus their resources on their cause.
At the same time it provides the flexibility, scalability and availability to ensure that your critical applications are running as effectively as possible at all times.
The cloud saves costs in three main ways.
1) Reducing upfront hardware costs
Delivering key applications through the cloud means that you don’t have to purchase, operate and maintain the necessary servers yourself on-premise. Nor hire the staff for these activities. This takes a chunk of money out of CapEx and into OpEx, optimising cash flow.
You could source your e-mail and office applications such as Microsoft Office and Exchange e-mail through the cloud, for example, rather than hosting them on your own server in your own space.
This also frees your staff from tasks that don’t contribute to your cause – hardware maintenance – and lets them put their energies into ones that do – supporting a particular campaign, or enhancing the effectiveness of your website.
2) Increasing financial security
The cloud can also help charities to become more financially secure by opening up the opportunity to pay for IT via manageable, OpEx, monthly instalments.
Vendors such as Microsoft are supporting this initiative to reduce the impact of IT on cash flow by making multiple cloud-based applications such as Office 365 available through open and volume licensing schemes. This is of particular benefit to charities who experience significant fluctuations in their usage of IT services. You can scale your usage up and down with a few clicks – keeping your charity flexible for when large campaigns or events suddenly put pressure on your systems.
3) Pay-as-you-go finance
With the cloud, you choose the level of service that will scale to your needs – then you only pay for what you use.
By only paying for IT capacity when it is really needed, charities can reduce investments in IT and the amount of redundant IT services.
This is perfect for charities that have fluctuating numbers of volunteers out in the field and need location-independent access to e-mail, web conferencing and instant messaging. 24/7 access to shared files and Office apps through the cloud means that communication lines are as effective and efficient as possible. Leaving your workers to get on with the job.
Equally, charities that experience sudden upsurges in traffic due to a particular campaign or appeal can rest assured that their infrastructure will flex and scale accordingly – and can then focus on providing top-notch customer service.
Keeping costs down is crucial for any non-profit, and charities can mitigate the financial burden of IT by leveraging a cost-effective cloud platform.
Turn your IT department from a costly overheard into an efficient, value-driving part of your charity.
Find out how the cloud can ease the financial burden of IT for your charity here.