Nonprofits are a crucial element of society, but recent developments in technology have created a new sector-tech for good. Tech for good companies makes products and services that help nonprofits function better and do more. They offer charities cost-effective tools to help them reach their goals. In this article, we will be exploring what it means to be a tech for a good company and the benefits they provide for nonprofits who work with them.
Organizations today need an IT infrastructure that is both robust and flexible so as not to inhibit growth or cause downtime during periods of high demand. The costs associated with purchasing hardware can run into the millions depending on how large an organization's data needs are, which is why many organizations choose to rent rather than buy equipment from vendors.
Technology for Good
Technology for good companies has the ability to offer flexible cloud hosting packages that can be customized according to an organization's needs. This is invaluable to nonprofits, especially in the current economic environment. Not only are they able to rent equipment at a significantly reduced cost when compared with buying it outright, but there are often additional benefits thrown into the mix. Many technology companies will charge zero or minimal rent fees if an organization commits to using its services exclusively over a period of time. Another benefit many of these companies offer is free setup and installation on-site which means no matter where in the world your nonprofit may operate, you don't need to worry about infrastructure setup or maintenance costs.
Importance of Proper Management
While investments made in keeping an IT infrastructure robust are important, they are nothing without proper maintenance. All equipment will have to be replaced at some stage, which is why good relationships with your technology company are so crucial. Additionally, if you intend to use a hosted service, it is important to stay in contact with your provider when something goes wrong or doesn't seem right. One way many organizations save money when renting their IT equipment is through an option known as 'failover' where another piece of rented equipment kicks in during any downtime. This means that the failure of one piece of equipment isn't going to result in downtime for your organization, but this can only happen when you inform your hosting partner about any problems early enough for them to fix them quickly and efficiently.
The cloud offers much more than just flexible hosting and failover. It also allows organizations to add new functions such as video conferencing, document management, and online storage with minimal fuss. These functions may be necessary for your organization in the future, but if you're only renting a small amount of equipment, it may not make sense to pay extra for them today.
Choose the Right Company to Work With
Technology companies that work with nonprofits offer all the above-mentioned benefits and more. They want to build solid relationships with their customers and will often go out of their way to ensure this is the case just so they can retain their business over time. Making technology accessible is what these companies are all about, which is why it's crucial that your chosen company has good disaster recovery precautions put in case something does happen during times of high demand. In the end, the best company to work with is going to be one that offers a good selection of services at a price you can afford and who will work closely with your organization so as to understand your IT needs in detail.
Another aspect many organizations struggle with when it comes to their IT infrastructure is how they manage people's user accounts. Two options are usually available to an organization when it comes to managing user accounts: they can either create the accounts themselves or let the hosting company do it for them. Looking for good case management software is your best bet. Something like Case Worthy can make your workflow smooth, and also be customized to fit your organization's precise needs. While creating your own accounts may seem like a good idea, this will mean that your employees have to remember multiple passwords, all with different levels of access depending on what they need to do with each account. On the other hand, a bad idea is to let your hosting company create all of the accounts because they will have full access to your organization's network and this may not be what you want.
Have your Employees Join a Group
The best option is somewhere in between these two extremes. Have your employees join a working group that is responsible for managing user accounts and passwords. This group should also be responsible for monitoring which services employees are using and the amount of time they spend on them, as well as what devices they're using to access your organization's systems (notebooks, smartphones, etc).
This is a very important step, so make sure it's done right! Having a single person manage all of your organization's passwords, no matter how trustworthy they are, will quickly result in a major security breach. There have been many high-profile cases where a company's IT administrator has abused their position of trust and used employee credentials to access servers and steal confidential information without anyone else knowing about it until it was too late.
While the cloud is still a relatively young concept, it's already making its mark as one of the most popular tools for businesses and nonprofits alike. The reason behind this is quite simple: the cloud offers flexible hosting solutions and all the benefits associated with working online, such as remote access and collaboration features.
One way many organizations save money when renting their IT equipment is by using a cloud service to house their most important files, such as purchase orders and customer contact lists. In the event of a disaster, these files can be automatically restored from backups without having to rely on any individual.
The cloud is also becoming an integral part of nonprofits' daily operations because they can now use it to monitor how much time workers spend on each project, as well as the type of equipment used to work on those projects. Finally, because so much time is now being spent online, it's easier for nonprofits to collaborate with other organizations using existing cloud-based software such as Google Calendar, iCloud, and Office 365.