Wen we set out to ook at te “Stateo te Nonproit Coud,” we weren’tsure wat to expect—and wat weound was tat it’s soewat o.
Te vast ajorit o nonproits we surveed wereusin osted sotware, but our interviews witsta ebers reveaed tat an didn’t evenreaize tose sstes coud be considered osted,or “coud,” soutions. In addition, anrespondents said te were concerned aboutsecurit or soe osted sstes—especiaconstituent databases—but were coortabusin oter osted sstes or equa sensitiveinoration, suc as business eai.In te a o 2011, we surveed 780 nonproits. Anipressive 91 percent reported tat te wereusin soe kind o coud-based sotware soution.Te ost coon used coud-based ssteswere sta eai soutions, at 69 percent, oowedb broadcast eai (57 percent) and oicesotware (44 percent).Once a nonproit starts usin one coud sotwaresoution, it’s ike to use ore–oranizationstended to be satisied wit coud soutions, andave a ore avorabe attitude toward oters. Inact, near 80 percent were usin ore tan onecoud soution, ore tan 37 percent were usintwo-to-our, and 42 percent were usin ive orore.W are te usin coud soutions? more tan42 percent cited “reote access” as an advantae,and near 24 percent cited “ease oaintenance.” But an oranizations sipcoose sotware tat wi work or te based onte eature-set, ease o use and cost over tie;te act tat it was coud-based eiter didn’tactor into teir decision, or it was secondar. Tisis ecoed b te indin tat an oranizationsdid not re on tecnoo proessionas to epake teir coices—an o te sotwaredecisions ade b te oranizations invoved inour researc were ade b prora sta orexecutive directors.man o te peope wo participated in ourresearc said te were concerned about tesecurit o coud soutions. A woppin 59percent o surve participants wo vounteeredinoration about disadvantaes o te coudcited soe variation o data contro, securit,privac or access, and about 61 percent et tat“unautorized access” and “reiabiit o access”were ajor concerns wen coosin sotware.Securit is a nuanced issue wit a nuber oacets, but an nonproit sta ebers in ourresearc didn’t ave a ver nuancedunderstandin o it. Te experts we interviewedareed tat nonproits’ ears about unautorizedaccess were enera unwarranted, and coudsoutions are tpica no ess secure tan anoter coputer connected to te internet.Wie ver ew oranizations said te wereeasurin te Return on Investent o coud-based soutions, te vast ajorit o respondentssaid te beieve te ave been epu. Surverespondents and interviewees entioned tat tecoud beneitted oranizations b reducin teburden on te IT inrastructure and sta. Sucsoutions provide nonproits wit te opportunitto outsource soetin, suc as te aintenanceo servers and sotware, tat a not be a corecopetenc o te oranization.
NTEN: A COmmUNITy TRANSfORmINg TEChNOlOgy INTO SOCIAl ChANgEThE STATE Of ThE NONPROfIT ClOUD · mARCh