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By: Mauricio Prinzlau, CEO of Cloudwards.net

In today’s data-driven world, we generate more information than ever before. Believe it or not, in 2012 humanity generated 2.8 zettabytes of data. How much is a zettabyte, you ask? It’s an astounding trillion gigabytes worth of data. And it doesn’t look like we are going to stop generating and relying on data any time soon. Experts predict that the amount of information in the world will grow to 44 zettabytes by 2020

It remains clear that businesses, nonprofits, and even individual users have a lot of data on their hands. But how on Earth are we supposed to manage all of that data? Within the past decade, there has been a massive paradigm shift affecting how organizations store, access, and manage their information. Not too long ago, it was common for organizations to manage in-house or colocated servers (e.g. server space rented from a data center) managed by an in-house IT department.  

Today, however, cloud technologies have become commonplace, and the benefits are tremendous. Organizations can spend less time managing internal computing systems and communications infrastructures, and more time focusing on their mission. This decrease in overhead is invaluable, and it significantly streamlines how an organization spends their resources. But what are the real costs of not having cloud technologies?

Improving Collaboration between Internal and External Parties 

Nonprofits must factor collaboration into the equation. Cloud technologies provide easier access to your data, no matter where you are located in the world. Also, consider that you can share data with external parties, like partners or other stakeholders, without the fear of security problems. If your organization needs to share information with several different parties to garner collaborative input, cloud technologies will allow multiple users to securely access information. On the other hand, a lack of cloud technologies will cost a nonprofit in productivity and efficiency. 

Protecting Nonprofits Data with Disaster Recovery

In the heydays of colocation, disaster recovery was typically an extra service charge that involved backing data up among multiple data centers scattered around the globe. On the other hand, cloud storage services maintain your data for you, without the need to charge you extra for this service. 

Disaster recovery is an essential part of any organization's IT infrastructure. But without cloud technologies, an organization’s data could be the victim of a technical problem that may set the organization back weeks, months, and even years. Fortunately, even if you suffer a local hardware problem that destroys valuable data, it is a simple matter to restore files from the cloud. In addition, cloud technologies almost always use methods to ensure that data is redundantly stored on their internal servers, too. 

Faster Services Deployment Enhances Flexibility and Agility 

Things are always changing – it’s just a part of life. And organizations are anything but static. Two of the problems organizations faced in the past was keeping up with new technologies and rolling out new services to meet the changing demands of their organization (e.g. adding new users, opening new offices, etc.). But the good news is that cloud services drastically reduce the burdens placed on an organization. Instead of having to maintain an internal infrastructure and deploy resources to oversee new updates and implementations, these tasks are taken care of by your cloud services provider.

Key Takeaways of Not Being on the Cloud 

Cloud services have become an integral part of how organizations share information, communicate, and accomplish their goals. Not taking advantage of cloud services will cost your nonprofit in the following ways: 

  • Increased management overhead
  • Increased operating costs
  • Decreased collaboration, productivity, and efficiency 
  • Increased disaster recovery costs or lost data
  • Slow services deployment, reduced scalability, and poor agility

Cloud services aren’t a new, emerging trend. Rather, they’re already here and you are missing out on some spectacular benefits if you aren’t already taking advantage of these services. Fortunately, there are great resources to help you find the best cloud storage providers. 


About the Author: Mauricio Prinzlau is the CEO of Cloudwards.net, a data and user feedback driven comparison engine for cloud apps and services. He enjoys writing and producing educational videos around the cloud to help people find the best cloud service for their needs.