Now more than ever, nonprofits have need for tools that enable them to swiftly help their communities. As people become more accustomed to working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing accelerated digital transformation. One of the largest drivers being that data stored on premise is inherently more difficult to access for those who are working off-site.
Though data access through Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) is possible, the resulting experience is typically slow, monopolizing your valuable time. The obvious solution is moving data storage and analysis from on-site to a more accessible place but deciding to transition to the cloud is not something that is done lightly. Especially when nonprofits rely on funders who require them to follow reporting regulations and maintain specific databases. Regardless of where you are in the process of digital transformation, we invite you to consider what it will take to adapt, survive, and thrive in 2021 and beyond.
BEING CLOUD FIRST
We recognize the need for working remote solutions in 2020/2021 overpowers the capacity the nonprofit industry has to strategically think about incorporating cloud technology. However, point solutions cobbled together out of pure necessity are often clunky. Taking a cloud first approach lets you prepare for a future of continued remote working, either for your entire workforce or just a portion. Prioritizing a transition to the cloud commits you to a piece of future proofing that will let you continue to service your communities despite disruptions. Whether is another pandemic or changing regulations, a cloud first strategy provides you the capability to continue business as normal.
Beginning a digital transformation journey requires seeing the value of devoting resources to technology building. Leading a nonprofit, you are faced with challenging decisions about how to partition limited resources with your biggest resource being your people. Their time spent tediously inputting and tracking data using a difficult system, is better spent on creating change, so why not enable them to accomplish more of what they are great at? It may seem strange to trade people hours for technology, but the long run outcome is worth is.
INVESTMENT IN INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
To make the most of your data, in addition to it being easily accessible, it needs to be navigable. An investment in cloud information architecture opens your organization up to world of streamlined processes. With improved architecture you become empowered with data for a range of purposes including tracking business rhythm, making decisions alongside the board of directors, and reporting outcomes to funders. Cloud native products also offer options for customized reporting and client management to help your organization keep track of its impact. With simplified access to this data, you are prepared to issue prompt responses for funder requests for data. With this identifying relevant data when applying for time-sensitive, impactful funding, such as grants related to COVID-19, becomes a breeze.
As your organization grows, your reliance on data remains. By prioritizing a digital first lens, you strengthen your organization’s ability to adapt to the changing landscape. Being able to capture, analyze, and report your outcomes data is essential to continued growth, as this data is your most powerful tool to drive additional funding year over year.
One solution to corralling your data comes with VerticalChange. Their cloud-based data solutions help you track client relationships, customize how data is collected, and control access. No matter where you are in your digital transformation journey, VerticalChange will work with you to help your data work for you.