Not-for-profit organizations, for obvious reasons, have traditionally been late to adopt the latest technology. With strict budgetary constraints along with a heavy reliance on charitable donations, they face unique challenges keeping their technology relevant and up-to-date, a managed IT company presents several important solutions.
PROBLEM: TECHNOLOGY COSTS
With technology advancing at a blinding pace, most not-for-profit organizations opt to employ a single ‘IT specialist’ who often overcharges and is slow to respond when you face technology issues.
CompTia says that 60% of small to medium-sized businesses feel that cost prohibits them from seeking out managed IT solutions. However, of the companies that have enlisted help from service providers, only 6% said that their cost savings weren’t realized.
Managed IT offers a cheaper solution
One of the biggest strengths of managed IT is that it greatly reduces costs and gives not-for-profits an opportunity to implement technology infrastructure previously available to traditional for-profit firms. Many MSPs, follows an economical, flat-fee, meaning you have access to a dedicated team of pros for a consistent price which can be accounted for well in advance.
PROBLEM: TECHNOLOGY RELIABILITY
With technology changing and getting more complex, it’s difficult to keep systems running reliably. In addition, the need to rely on technology to get your daily work done becomes greater every year. When internet or computer systems go down in the office many staff are left with nothing to do because all their work is information technology based. This downtime can cost many thousands of dollars per hour in lost productivity and wasted paid salary for idle time. A managed IT provider will manage and monitor systems to avoid this downtime.
Not-for-profits often feel the heat when they find themselves suddenly facing increased demand. Since it’s frequently too expensive to upgrade in-house software and hardware to meet this sudden spike, not-for-profits often run into periods of inefficiency, unable to spend their funds in the most appropriate manner.
Adjust resources without incurring extra costs
With an IT vendor by your side, you can enjoy the same degree of flexibility as large businesses. The ability to shift data to meet new demands, without incurring more costs gives you a better control over your budget, as well as the ability to keep operations smooth even during periods of rapid growth.
It comes as no surprise that many employees and volunteers within a not-for-profit business have limited time and resources to put into the cause. Consequently, there is a greater need for simplified management and flexibility. With limited resources as a not-for-profit, the majority of your budget is probably going towards running day-to-day operations instead of developing an in-house tech infrastructure.
Increase collaboration without hiring additional employees
Managed IT service providers offer a centralized and easily-accessible approach that makes staff support easier and more productive. Because IT vendors ensure that your organization uses the same up to date software versions, your employees and volunteers can work on projects without being bogged down by compatibility issues . This means projects get done faster, and you save money that would otherwise be invested in employing a full-time coordinator.
PROBLEM: INDUSTRY COMPLIANCE
Not-for-profits often have to follow compliance requirements when running operations and handling sensitive data. Oftentimes –especially when handling overseas currency– you may have more specific benchmarks to adhere to. There’s no room for error in these areas, which means you might end up paying a high fee to professionals and auditors to ensure safety and compliance.
Compliance to regulations are included in the subscription
By partnering with an experienced IT vendor, you’ll gain advice on how to respond to these regulations. Most managed service packages also guarantee compliance to industry regulations such as HIPAA or PCI.
PROBLEM: DATA SECURITY
It is more than likely that your donors use either credit/debit cards or online platforms for donations or contributions, however, storing and securing sensitive information is a tough task, particularly with the myriad cyberthreats looming daily. This means you might have to purchase software specifically-built for protection and possibly have to invest more money into license renewal upon expiry.
Moreover, sophisticated malware can still get past the basic signature-based detection systems in use by security software.
You don’t need to purchase additional software with managed IT:
Employing managed IT services means you have real people looking after your network 24/7/365. Your IT vendor will be on the lookout for suspicious activity — either within or from outside your organization — and can inform you of any potential dangers (JIG personally responds to alerts in less that 15 minutes), as well as resolves the issues before it causes downtime.
In conclusion, let’s summarize the list of benefits a not-for-profit gains when employing managed IT services.
First, there’s the economical, flat-rate fee allowing you to n budget expenses better. Second, you can alter the amount of resources you use without incurring extra costs. Third, your technology is secure and compliant with industry standards, meaning you don’t have to hire external help. And finally, your business becomes a collaborative, communicative machine which allows for project completion within deadlines.
All of these factors signal towards one thing: the affordability of Managed IT for a not-for-profit business.
At JIG Technology, we understand that every not-for-profit relies on its ability to carry out many of the same processes that profitable businesses do, albeit within much lower budgets. That’s why we offer managed services that align with your vision and your budget. Call us today to find out more.