All organisations want to keep costs down, that’s a given, but if you are a charities this is even more important. Every penny you spend on admin is a penny not spent on charitable work. For this reason alone your charity deserves the latest in technology but you also need to focus time and budget on core activities. Many businesses are already realising the cost savings that cloud computing can bring but if you are a charity or not for profit organisation the savings are even greater.
How Hosted Desktops work and how they will save you money
Similar to a typical office computer a Hosted Desktop has all your applications, Office, Accounting, Email, HR etc. and all your shared or personal data in one place, but that place is “In the Cloud” or in reality, a secure data centre. This means you can access your desktop applications anywhere there is an Internet Connection, this is really important for charities with members working overseas as they can get the same experience as if they were in the office. Your applications might be Windows based but you can access from any device: PCs, MACs, iPads, Android tablets etc. This is great if you have volunteers working for your charity as they can use their own devices, whatever they are, you don’t have to supply them with a standard.
So how else does this benefit you financially?
Software licences are generally significantly cheaper for charities, usually less than a third the cost of a business licence.
Software licences are rented, so no upfront hit.
No in house server to purchase, no server to replace in a few years.
Save on IT support costs.
Save on power consumption (an in house server could be costing £20 – £30 a month in power)
No security worries – Connections from a reputable provider are usually 128bit encrypted, data is backed up and transferred off site, and data centres should be ISO27001 for information security accredited.
Many charities and not for profits tender for short term government contracts 1 or 2 years. If you have to make a one off purchase of IT infrastructure and Software licences this is a big chunk out of your funds, and is potentially wasted when the contract ends. Look for a hosting company with no long term contracts, paying monthly for what you need, so you can flex up or down as circumstances dictate. If you need to suddenly increase numbers to deal with a crisis hosted desktop providers can have your new users up and running within hours and you only pay for the months they are needed.
So how much will it really cost?
A hosted desktop for a registered charity would be around £10 – £15 per month depending upon the supplier
For this you would typically get:
A hosted desktop on your own dedicated Windows server.
Data storage shared between all users and applications
Storage for individual users’ home folders.
Support and maintenance for the server in terms of Anti-Virus, Windows Updates and performance monitoring.
Backups of data, and server operating systems
Hardware resilience meaning if anything goes wrong with your server it will be moved to another server seamlessly, with no downtime or interruption
24/7 UK Support.
How to choose a supplier
Select a provider who understands the particular challenges of the charity sector, ask for references of other charities they have worked with. More importantly choose a company who is flexible and demonstrates the expertise to help architect a cost effective solution that fully meets your objectives, not just hand you an off the shelf bundle. Ask to see a demonstration of their platform and if you have a bespoke application or just want reassurance that your application will work properly on a hosted platform ask them to run your application on a test server and let your colleagues try it out.
About the Author
Ian Sutherland is the Business Development Manager for Your Office Anywhere https://yourofficeanywhere.co.uk who are one of the country’s longest established cloud hosting providers and are currently offering additional discounts to charities to bring the price of Hosted Desktops to below £10 per user
For more information on this article please contact Ian on 01282 500318 or email firstname.lastname@example.org