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Cloud Computing for Non-profits by Omar Uddin by Mind Map: Cloud Computing for Non-profits 
by 
Omar Uddin
5.0 stars - 2 reviews range from 0 to 5

Cloud Computing for Non-profits by Omar Uddin

What is Cloud Computing?

This is probably the best way to start mind mapping the topic of cloud computing. There are several ways to describe the general term 'cloud computing'.

Delivery of a range of IT capabilities as an externally sourced service.

A style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet.

Dramatically transforming the delivery of IT services and creating broad access to high end computing solutions.

Why Should Non-profits Care ?

Unless you have specific reasons to stay away from specific or all forms of cloud computing (such as privacy, laws, regulations etc), there are truly many reasons why organizations should consider researching cloud computing. Here are some reasons why non-profits should care about cloud computing.

Save

time

money, Little to no upfront cost, Measurable cost savings over time, Quick start and try before you buy

environment, Reduction in energy consumption and wasteful consumption

Focus

mission, focus on how the solution will help you further your mission

solving problems, Not adapting to solutions

Flexibility

Rapid Deployment

Scale up and down, Rapid expansion only as needed

adjust your IT expenditures, no longer have to build for the future, or be constrained by decisions made or contracts signed in the past

Choice

pick the functionality that you want

Integrate with other applications

if needs change, switch to another solution

Open Standards, Internet standards and web services allow you to connect services to each other.

Capacity

Unlimited storage at a fraction of the cost of a traditional on-premise server

No IT Staff required

Security

Many providers hosting your data in the cloud are much more secure than your personal computer

Upgrades

No worries -- everything happens behind the scenes automatically

New features appear automatically

You are always using the latest version

Ongoing Investment

Improvements are made constantly, and your nonprofit stands to benefit from automatic enhancements

broader set of users who are all contributing to the company's R&D budget

Convenience

No infrastructure, If you have access to the Internet, you have access to the cloud.

Eliminate risks of maintaining physical hardware

Provide access to only the resources needed at any given time

Efficiency

Improve organizational efficiency

Collaboration

Simplify collaboration and sharing of content and data

Create hubs and extend platforms

Create transparent knowledge base

Types

The landscape of cloud computing has become vast and often complex for non-IT experts to consider exploring. This is not an exhaustive list or definition rather examples of the types of cloud computing solutions you can hope to find for your organization.

Storage

File Virtualization

Thin Provisioning, Allocating Storage When Needed Instead of When the Application is Provisioned

File storage and sharing

Infrastructure

Containerized Computing

Shared Data Center

Flex - space

IaaS, Infrastructure as a Service, servers set up and hosted for you, but your team installs, configures and maintains the software applications

Platform

PaaS, Platform as a Service, hosted application development environment for those who are building or customizing their own software, Amazon Web Services, Force.com, Facebook, vendors use to build applications for organizations

Applications

SaaS, Software as a Service

Web 2.0 Mashups

Widgets

Application Clustering

Management Software Clouds

Analytics Software Clouds

Business, CRM applications, payment systems, Skype, Convio Common Ground, Google Apps, Salesforce.com

Services, Common functionality useful for integration with your applications, Amazon S3, Google Checkout, Google Maps, PayPal

Computing

Grid Computing

Server Virtualization

Hybrid

Mix of, Dedicated & Physical, Cloud

Risks

Every new technology carries risk and even though there are many benefits of cloud computing, the risks should clearly be understood and mitigated through identification and planning. A vendor or partner can help you figure out the risks if you don't necessarily have IT support in house.

Loss of connectivity

Service levels and response times

Regulatory Compliance

Backup failures

Security concerns

Availability

Dependence on third party companies

A roadmap for your non-profit

To help your organization consider the cloud computing landscape, here is a guide or roadmap to helping your organization consider evaluation or adoption of cloud computing products and solutions.

1. Develop a strategy and plan

Determine what you might need and determine a budget, A CRM solution?, A database?

2. Assess and audit internal business processes

Be sure you understand your current processes and how the new solution will optimize or impact your processes

3. Assess capacity, budget and critical needs

A solutions bells and whistles and user's wishlist might be nice but is it affordable within your budget?

Does the solution deliver your critical needs?

4. Review potential options

Take it for a test drive if available

Invest adequate time in evaluating options

Consider if the solution meets your needs and if there is any negative impact on processes

Research and ask vendors for more information., Does the cloud provider simply enable cloud solutions or provide consulting to help deliver solutions as well?, How will my data be protected such as backups, restoration and a disaster recovery plan?, How easy is it to move or migrate my data and are there additional costs?, Does the provider monitor and support with my cloud service?, What are the terms of the service agreement?, How much will the service cost?

5. Engage a partner or solutions provider

As with many technology solutions,  applications available in the cloud  can be implemented by your organization  or by a partner. To determine which  option is best for you, consider  the cost of your time, the importance  of accountability, and the value  of ensuring everything is done  right the first time. If you don't  have time for trial and error,  consider working with an experienced  partner who can streamline the  process and get you up and running  painlessly.