Technology Challenges for Non-Profits in the Healthcare and Social Space
July 18, 2022
Anyone that has worked for a non-profit organization knows the challenges they face. Non-profits have similar technology requirements to private sector businesses, such as applications to run business processes and storage, but budgets are always much tighter. In this sector there is often a reliance on grants or donations, so every dollar counts every single day.
Previously we have shared articles about the education sector and some of their challenges when considering a cloud adoption. This is a sector that has seen a rapid increase in cloud adoption for several reasons, but one of the most important is around cost reduction – not only can you create a more modern, scalable learning environment, it can also be managed at a lower cost than in-house technology systems.
Many of the benefits that higher education institutions are looking for also apply to non-profits, but we need to add a few more issues they often face:
- Frequent use of external contractors and volunteers. It’s great when people support your cause and want to volunteer, but they may not have the specialist skills you need to look after the management and security of an IT system. Likewise, contractors have the skills, but their sky-high daily rates are hard to justify.
- Skeleton crew internally. Non-profits rarely have any extra slack so internal IT support teams cannot handle additional projects, especially quite significant projects like a cloud
- Tight budgets. Already mentioned, but it is worth repeating, when every dollar is donated, you can’t afford many luxuries.
So how can non-profits explore solutions to some of these issues? Let’s try answering each one in turn.
Frequent use of external contractors is not just expensive, but it’s a security risk. You can create security gaps through inconsistent management of projects or even lose valuable equipment to people that have no affinity with your cause. What if a contractor takes a laptop and doesn’t return it when their contract expires? This is a frequent problem. How much will you spend on recovery before just writing it off? Is your alternative to let contractors use their own equipment on your network?
The opportunity here is to create virtual desktop access (VDA) so your team – and contractors – can access your system remotely, or from inside the office using safe and secure workstations.
Small internal team
You can’t get anything done, beyond keeping the lights on, because the team is only just large enough to manage day-to-day issues.
The opportunity here is to outsource professional services project by project to a trusted technology partner – especially the use of managed services so you only pay for what you are using.
Non-profits have high accountability standards, so nothing can be wasted, but the budgets are also quite low – every penny must be earned and justified when it is spent.
The opportunity here is to move critical systems into the cloud. Use a hybrid model so you retain some in-house technology, but all storage and applications that would benefit from a pay-as-you-use model are all in the cloud.
Regarding the last point, WatServ has great relationships with service providers such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, and GCP. It’s highly likely that going to these cloud providers via our team can secure additional free credits.
Managing non-profit technology can be a challenge, but the cloud creates new options that make life easier than the 100% in-house systems of the past. Contact our team today to find out how we could help you and whether you might qualify for some cloud provider credits.
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