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Cloud Computing Worldwide

All this month, join TechSoup Canada and the TechSoup Global Network for our Cloud Computing Worldwide campaign. Check back throughout the month for blog posts, webinars, and dispatches from around the world on cloud computing for nonprofits, NGOs, and public libraries.

Sign up for TechSoup Canada's montly email newsletter and discover great resources, ideas and donated technology for charities, nonprofits and libraries.

 Mark your calendar! Join TechSoup Canada for a free webinar about cloud computing on Thursday, October 27.

Mark your calendar again! Join us for a TweetChat on cloud computing for nonprofits on Wednesday, November 2.

Week 4: The Future of Cloud Computing

 A View of the Cloud from the United States
Learn how American nonprofits are using the cloud today, and how that will change over the next few years.

 Big Data and the Cloud: What's the Link?
Keisha Taylor of GuideStar International reflects that as more nonprofits move into the cloud, the importance of data to the sector becomes more pronounced.

 A View of the Cloud from the NetSquared Community
Even among technologically inclined people, there's sometimes a reluctance to move to the cloud. But maybe that's not a bad thing.

Shawn Michael on Dynamics CRM Online for Nonprofits
In this guest blog post, Shawn Michael of NPower Oregon discusses Dynamics CRM Online. Is a move to cloud-based CRM right for your organization?


Week 3: Security in the Cloud

 A View of the Cloud from India

Most NGOs in India are small and highly dependent on volunteers. Prashant Pandit and Pooja Jayna of the NASSCOM Foundation (TechSoup's Indian partner organization) discuss the hurdles that NGOs must overcome for cloud adoption to become a reality.

 A View of the Cloud from Poland

Alicja Peszkowska of Fundacja TechSoup (TechSoup's European headquarters in Warsaw) observes that although most Polish NGOs use some cloud-based tools, most of them haven't explored the cloud's full potential.

US Flag Security in the Cloud

Security is one of the largest concerns when considering a move of a system or application to the Internet. Learn how to protect your organization.

US Flag Security: The Scary Part of Cloud Computing

Recent security breaches in the cloud have made headlines, but the greatest security risk to nonprofits is still human negligence.

 Why Are We So Scared of Cloud Security?

Richard Cooper of Charity Technology Trust (TechSoup's partner organization in the United Kingdom) suggests that nonprofits be realistic when weighing the risks of cloud computing.


Week 2: How Cloud Computing Changes Organizations

US Flag Can Cloud Computing Change Organizational Boundaries?

Some people say that cloud computing can radically change how organizations work and collaborate. Does cloud computing shift organizational culture, or is it really business as usual?

 Email in the Cloud: A Google Apps Case Study

Learn how a cloud-based solution helped one Canadian nonprofit work more efficiently. For more information, check out TechSoup Canada's recorded webinar on Google Apps.

How the Cloud Can Make a Difference for Disaster Relief

Find out how Second Harvest Japan used cloud-based technologies to serve Japanese communities when disaster struck.

 Reach for the Cloud with Microsoft Services

Connecting Up Australia (TechSoup's partner organization in Australia) shows how Microsoft's cloud services and desktop products work together.


Week 1: Introduction to Cloud Computing

Brazil Flag A View of the Cloud from Brazil

In the first of our series of dispatches from our international partner organizations, TechSoup Brasil's Valter Cegal reflects that Internet affordability is still a major stumbling block for Brazilian NGOs. He suggests that individuals will make the move to the cloud more quickly than organizations.

US Flag Why Should Nonprofits Care About Cloud Computing?

If you are a small to medium-sized nonprofit, why should you care about cloud computing? Because it can save you time, money, and help spare the environment. Be sure to check out the companion webinar recording, Cloud Computing: Why You Should Care.

US Flag Cloud Basics for Nonprofits and Libraries

What is cloud computing anyway, and what does it mean for your organization? Learn about the types of cloud computing and the advantages and drawbacks of implementing cloud-based solutions at your organization.

US Flag Clearing Up the Cloud

NTEN recently hosted a day-long cloud computing workshop in San Francisco. Read our reflections on the opportunities and challenges of cloud adoption for nonprofits.

UK Flag Cloud Is Not a Technology Decision

Richard Cooper of Charity Technology Trust (TechSoup's partner organization in the United Kingdom) argues that cloud computing is primarily a business decision, not a technology decision.


More info on privacy law & the cloud

For those interested in learning more, I've summarized what I've found about cloud computing & Canadian privacy law in a new blog post.

Canada's privacy laws and cloud computing?

Do any of your sessions or webpages explore and explain the responsibilities of non-profits using cloud computing with respect to Canada's privacy laws? For example, I have noticed that some Canadian website Terms of Service include phrasing such as "Storage of Information Outside of Canada: By using this website and service, you give your consent that any information you provide may be stored on servers outside of Canada."

FYI... a brief follow-up with other website resources:


From "Report on the 2010 Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's Consultations on Online Tracking, Profiling and Targeting, and Cloud Computing": 

"Many respondents and participants noted that cloud computing is simply outsourcing and that the issues that arise from outsourcing are the same. Who has control of the data? Who is accountable? Are there appropriate protections in place? Who has access to the data? With whom is it being shared? How is it being used? Are there jurisdictions where the data should not go? The concerns surrounding transborder data flows—a decades-old topic of discussion with respect to privacy protection—are brought into sharp focus in the cloud computing context."

From "Cloud Computing and Privacy FAQ"

"In Canada, there is often a perception that using cloud computing services may be against the law or may undermine privacy. This is often not the case, but the perception remains. The purpose of this frequently asked questions is to dispel some of the mythology and to provide the reader with a framework so that cloud computing and privacy can be properly assessed."


Thanks for sharing these great resources! I do get asked a lot about how Canada's privacy laws apply to nonprofits interested in using cloud computing, and the second link you shared in particular brought together a lot of the information I have heard into one place in fairly readable English. If you are a nonprofit wondering whether it's better to use a Canadian cloud company, read this article.

I did write a post a few months ago now on if/when PIPEDA and provincial privacy laws apply to Canadian nonprofits, which may be of interest: Of course all organizations should place a high priority on ensuring the privacy of the personal information in their care, whether they are technically covered by these laws or not, however it may be helpful to know how this works.

As well, to follow up to the comment that cloud computing is a lot like outsourcing, I found these guidelines had some helpful information (

"PIPEDA does not prohibit organizations in Canada from transferring personal information to an organization in another jurisdiction for processing. However, under PIPEDA, organizations are held accountable for the protection of personal information transfers under each individual outsourcing arrangement."

They go on to say that:

  • No contract can override the criminal, national security or any other laws of the country to which the information has been transferred.
  • It is important for organizations to assess the risks that could jeopardize the integrity, security and confidentiality of customer personal information when it is transferred to third-party service providers operating outside of Canada.