Irish charities, NGOs and non-profits see cloud as route out of IT cost bottleneck

20 Nov 2012

Almost two-thirds of Irish NGOs, non-profits and charities describe the cost of IT as the biggest challenge facing their IT operations and are looking to cloud computing as a way beyond this impasse.

According to Enclude, an organisation that has been helping Irish charities access technology donations and cloud solutions since starting in 2006, 83pc of charities and NGOs are using at least one cloud computing application with email, such as Microsoft Office 365 and Hotmail and Google’s Gmail cited as the most prominent cloud services.

Some 40pc are using cloud computing to deliver back office services with data backup, storage and sync the most prominent uses cited.

The greatest advantage of using cloud computing among these organisations is the prolonged availability and access to hardware and software.

But 42pc believe the greatest challenge is the lack of knowledge among in-house staff.

Some 38pc say file storage and sharing was the application their organisation was most likely to adopt from the cloud.

The next IT frontier for charities and non-profits

The research forms part of a global study called The Cloud that was led by Enclude, which is a network partner of TechSoup Global, a San Francisco, California, non-profit that provides tech assistance to non-profits in 40 countries worldwide.

The report surveyed more than 10,500 respondents in 88 countries. A total of 254 respondents took part in the research concerning Ireland.

“It’s very significant that the organisations reported that the cost of IT was the biggest challenge to their IT activities, while they see cost saving as a major advantage to using the cloud,” the CEO of Enclude Eamon Stack said.

“Cloud computing is the next frontier for the sector, and we hope that the survey results will help organisations make more informed IT decisions and drive the rate of cloud adoption with the confidence that NGOs worldwide are embracing these transformative technologies,” Stack added.

Enclude has been helping Irish charities access technology donations and cloud solutions. In 2011 alone, ENCLUDE assisted Irish charities through its ENCLUDEit Technology Donations Programme to access almost €2.25m worth of software donations with Microsoft being the major technology donor on this programme.

Ireland’s digital leaders will gather to discuss cloud computing and the big data revolution at the Cloud Capital Forum on Friday, 23 November, at the Convention Centre Dublin

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years