Like any business, you know the value of technology in driving your organization’s objectives. You also recognize that emerging technologies offer opportunities to expand your reach and work more efficiently. So, you may be wondering if your nonprofit needs an MSP (managed services provider) to keep up with rapid changes in technology, meet the requirements of an increasingly mobile workforce and keep data secure, or if such a move is cost effective.
Because nonprofits are mission-driven, rather than profit-driven, the usual challenges take on an added twist. For nonprofits, the focus lies in providing services, fundraising, and building community awareness. Technology often takes a back seat. Key factors that impede the adoption of current technology include:
- Small staff, limited technical expertise – Most nonprofit organizations employ a small number of paid employees and volunteers. Turnover is high, budgets low. Executives often shoulder multiple responsibilities. Many organizations lack in-house technical expertise.
- Limited resources – With funding often dependent on grants and donations, budgets must stretch, leaving little capital for technology. At the same time, outdated systems fail to keep pace with current Internet threats and growth opportunities.
- Donor data security – With more online fundraising and reporting, nonprofits collect a large amount of donor and client data. That data presents a significant security challenge.
- Mobile staff – More and more employees conduct business on mobile devices, from opening email to processing donations. In many cases, they use their personal devices for business, creating increased vulnerabilities.
While your technology needs match or exceed those of your enterprise counterparts, your resources and budget often do not. This unfortunate reality suggests that your nonprofit needs an MSP to primarily help control costs while also increasing security and optimizing technology.
1. Control Costs
With limited budget, your nonprofit needs a MSP solution scaled to your specific situation. Whether your business activities ebb and flow with annual events or grow steadily with increased fundraising, the right managed services provider can help you design the most cost-effective solution.
Since most MSPs work on a subscription basis, you pay a monthly fee based on devices or usage. As the organization grows and changes, your service contract adjusts accordingly. Because the MSP handles licensing, upgrades and technology maintenance, unexpected cost spikes no longer send your budget into chaos.
2. Increase Data Security
With an increasingly mobile workforce, digital fundraising and ever-present threats from cyber criminals, keeping critical data safe is a complex task. Hence, MSPs provide multi-level security solutions, including:
- 24/7 monitoring of both wired and wireless networks
- Server and desktop management
- Business continuity planning
- Email management
- Secure remote access for mobile employees
- Diagnostics and troubleshooting
- Software update and management
3. Optimize Technology
Advances like cloud computing offer significant opportunities for nonprofits, whether you save capital with virtual servers or improve productivity with software as a service (SaaS). For nonprofits with outdated systems, cloud computing allows you to make a big technological leap forward. As an added bonus, the improved technology can actually reduce your operating costs.
Your MSP will conduct a pre-migration assessment and can even manage the entire process for you, leaving your staff free to focus on the mission. Employees can work securely from virtually any device, accessing current software and collaborating with ease.
Still Wondering if Your Nonprofit Needs an MSP?
Making any technology investment requires careful planning. Fortunately, when you partner with an MSP, you add a team of experts to your resource pool. From budget planning to implementation and maintenance, these experts support your mission with a solution tailored to fit.
Explore your options. Whether your nonprofit needs an MSP to manage your entire IT infrastructure for you, or whether you opt for a hybrid arrangement, a managed services solution brings you the budget control, peace of mind and productivity you need.