For many companies and nonprofits, moving to the cloud can be a little confusing. There is no way of telling if staff will adapt to the new flexible way of working or if the system itself will suit your business. There are several things to take into consideration when moving to a cloud-based solution.
Do you require flexibility?
Often nonprofit organizations will employ staff and volunteers working out in the field. They may be local or spread across the globe so there is a need to have the ability to track people across multiple locations and time zones.
Moving to the cloud is simple and will allow for flexibility as all members of the team will be able to log in and out whether they are on the go or in the office. They will be able to log their hours, check data and keep up with project statuses. If this is combined with a cloud accounting software solution then payroll can be processed easily too, as all information regarding hours will be up to date and readily available.
Will your staff benefit from the move?
Staff can sometimes act as a barrier to the implementation of new software and processes, and it is important that any change like this is properly managed. Hopefully staff will see the benefits of being able to access data and information easily from multiple locations.
Before moving to the cloud it is important to talk to different members of staff and ensure that they are comfortable with the transition and know what to expect. As with any change, the process should be properly managed and the needs of staff be taken into consideration. Talking to staff, volunteers and any other key users will also provide them with an opportunity to advise if there is any area which particularly needs attention and could benefit from a change in process when moving to the cloud.
Will it be secure enough?
Keeping data secure is a point of concern for many businesses and nonprofits, especially in relation to sensitive donor information. Companies have to comply with many data protection and security rules and regulations, which often vary between countries. This can often become confusing, especially when your staff cover multiple territories across the globe.
Companies that offer cloud-based software solutions will ensure they are aware of and comply with these regulations. Your data will be kept secure, and accessible from anywhere.
Moving to the cloud will also mean your data is kept secure in case of an emergency or unforeseen event. If your servers are destroyed through flooding, earthquakes, or other disasters, you will still be able to communicate with donors and stakeholders.
Moving to the cloud can sound a bit daunting, especially for smaller nonprofits who have stretched time and budgets. The benefits can outweigh this though, and cloud based software can provide fast, streamlined, real time solutions to nonprofit accounting and operations management problems.
Kirsten Shaw writes on behalf of a nonprofit cloud accounting software provider, covering topics including big data and cloud computing to charity accounting software. She gained an interest in this subject while studying business management at University. Since then Kirsten has worked in various positions, focusing in the past 6 months on ERP for nonprofits.
She is a keen snowboarder, and has spent a lot of time snowboarding in New Zealand.