Why Your Nonprofit Needs to Embrace True Cloud Computing

Is your association ready to embrace cloud computing?

By Brian Smith – Communications Specialist    

The new decade brings with it a revamped focus towards the future of cloud computing technologies. From Forbes and Computerworld, to CRN and InformationWeek – the experts predict continued investments to quickly advance organizational innovation. 

What does that mean for the nonprofit technology market? We’ve previously written about what it will mean for association management software (AMS) users here, but in short, it means that on-premise solutions will slowly vanish as more nonprofits look to the cloud for their database needs. 

Below are just a few benefits your association can leverage through cloud computing 

Simplified Cybersecurity Infrastructure 

According to a recent cybersecurity report by Tripwire, 84 percent of respondents said their organizations struggled to maintain security configurations in the cloud because they had to manage a complex hybrid environment of on-premise and cloud solutions. 

“Also contributing to the difficulty of cloud security, teams are faced with a much more complex environment to defend in general, with many forced to manage a complex hybrid environment of both on-premise and multiple private and public cloud environments.” — Tripwire 

An easy fix for your IT team having to go back and forth? Start shopping around for enterprise cloud platforms – such as the Microsoft Azure Cloud – and see what fits with your association’s current technology environment. 

Edge computing and blockchain technology will also play a vital role in strengthening cybersecurity measures as data will now be decentralized across devices, making it more difficult for data breaches and hacks. Here’s an excerpt from Calvin Hennick in BizTech Magazine 

“Blockchain solutions can automate many repetitive administrative processes that can slow down the operations of nonprofits. Taking record-keeping and regular data audits off the desks of nonprofit employees streamlines workflows, freeing up teams to focus on high-level strategy rather than day-to-day minutiae… Microsoft Azure, for example, uses blockchain technology to give organizations the ability to scale out without creating added security risks.” 

This will be a game-changer for associations that utilize mobile devices or have remote and international staff. 

Simplified Upgrade Process & Scalability 

I hear this frequently when I talk to nonprofit professionals – “we are tired of costly AMS upgrades.” The good news? When your association operates in the cloud, you have the flexibility to easily scale as you grow while enjoying the benefits of consistent updates that are automatically implemented into the system  which means an even more extensive and connected ecosystem of features you can utilize and integrate in your AMS. 

Seamless Digital Transformation 

Speaking of topics on everyone’s minds in 2020 – digital transformation 

While labeled as a buzz phrase because of its broad interpretation, it’s still a high priority discussed in management meetings. 

Developments in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotic process automation (RPA) are all advancing at rapid rates, and organizations are looking to integrate them into their digital governance policy. Keep on the lookout for the Internet of Things (IoT) as well – your phone is no longer the only smart device in your household that’s collecting and sharing data. 

Closing Thoughts: Cloud Computing for Associations 

Over the past decade, we saw exponential advancements in cloud computing technologies – AI, ML, RPA, IoT and blockchain – all under the guise of digital transformation. 

Many associations are making the case to their boards  they need to increase or begin investing in software platforms or risk falling behind the competition. 

If your staff has been on the fence about selecting a new AMS over the last few years, then 2020 might just be the best time to begin shopping. 

Interested in discovering other technology trends at the forefront of nonprofits? Watch our webinar with OpenWater, Higher Logic and CommPartners – Technology Trends for 2020: Lessons Learned at ASAE TEC.