Budget re-evaluations are difficult for organisations of all kinds, but charities and not-for-profit organisations have a notoriously hard time trying to allocate funds and prioritise their spending. Spending on cyber security often falls much lower on the list than spending to achieve their core mission and goals. In fact, according to a 2017 study of UK registered charities by consultancy firm Sayer Vincent, assumptions about cyber security varied widely.
They found that in many cases:
Unfortunately, these misconceptions put charities at risk for cyber crime, the same as any other enterprise. Thankfully, cloud hosting is a reliable and powerful resource for charities, if only they are educated about its benefits. So, if you're a staff member at a not-for-profit organisation trying to persuade your boss to allocate funds to cloud, read on!
The personal data you collect on donors and your mailing list is valuable, not just to you, but also to cyber criminals. It is also often highly sensitive data too, which only causes further upset if you experience a leak. Because of your benevolent mission and purpose, you may be perceived as an easy target for hacking and ransomware. This puts charities at high risk of being victims of cyber attacks as their budgets may be focused in areas other than IT security. Working with a managed hosting provider will ensure you have taken the appropriate due diligence to determine with actions to take moving forwards are most suitable. Furthermore, gaining a bespoke strategy will mean your data and files are stored in a highly secure, state of the art data centre which is protected and maintained with frequent scans and monitoring.
Cloud hosting ensures compliance.
When GDPR took effect, the rules for fundraising, volunteer recruitment and campaigning all shifted. Your reputation as a not-for-profit organisation is incredibly important, and a managed cloud hosting provider can offer enhanced security and regular backups so you are consistently upholding regulations and safeguarding your good name and mission as a charity. Furthermore, donations and payments are regularly made online, via text or using another electronic method. This of course lends itself to potential threats and securing this data using the cloud contributes to compliance.
Cloud hosting offers reliability.
Charities often operate on a smaller scale, so you may think that cloud hosting is too big of an investment. However, downtime and lost data could put your operations in jeopardy, and consume hours of time trying to restore old files. Not only this, with systems down and out, there is only so much a charity can deliver. This all affects reputation and the ability to collect donations: a worrying mix for any charity. With guaranteed uptime and reliable backup, cloud hosting offers you peace of mind at a flexible and competitive cost, because you only pay for what you need. Furthermore, a growing number of charities have staff working 'in the field' for some time, for example providing aid to victims of a natural disaster, building wells for villages in third world countries or even visiting animals during a rescue mission. Using the cloud allows employees and volunteers to stay connected wherever they are, whenever they need to be, resulting in uninterrupted support to your cause.
Cloud hosting offers financial savings.
The European Commission estimates that migrating to the cloud can result in a 20% to 50% reduction of total IT costs, due to reduced IT infrastructure investment and lower ongoing maintenance costs. The cloud needs no physical equipment and charities do not need to rely on servers or computers and they also will experience a much smaller electricity bill once they have adopted the cloud. This means that cash is freed up within your charity to be allocated elsewhere, to high priority areas.
Cloud hosting offers scalability.
Seasonal periods can affect most charities, as can different trends, nature and news to name a few. With so many variables affecting the charity and not-for-profit sector, it pays to be in control of needs and requirements. Traditional hardware limits the number of employees or volunteers a charity can support and a sudden influx can mean that the charity is operating a breaking point. Similarly, overly quiet periods means a lot of IT hardware is left unused, slowing becoming outdated and costing the charity to maintain. To avoid this, adopting a cloud strategy means that the charity can grow with demand and quickly scale back during quiet periods.
If you're part of a charity ready to consider cloud hosting, a TechWorkshop is the next step. We evaluate your current systems and devise a plan to fit your unique needs. Contact us today, or explore some of our projects with charities in the resources below.