Thursday, August 16, 2012

BIG’s Blog: We are the Cloud

The technology of “the Cloud” that you hear so much about today is just the latest iteration of what computer users have been doing at least since the 1970s, which is accessing computer power from long distance. My uncle worked for GE his whole career. GE in the 1970s was in the mainframe computer business, but unlike IBM, who actually sold and supported computer systems at their customer’s locations, GE rented computer power to corporations and other large institutions. They had computer complexes all over the country and companies would access them through phone lines. Yep, it was analogue phone lines but it was essentially the forerunner of today’s Cloud.

Of course the backbone of today’s Cloud is the digital Internet. And the power, speed, and functionality… not to mention the low computing costs… could only be dreamed of back in the 70’s.

With very few exceptions, your organization will – in the not so distant future – access all its software through the Internet. There will be a few gigantic organizations that will maintain actual software/hardware at their locations but the vast majority of corporations and organizations…including nonprofit fundraisers… will access software via the Cloud. Accessing software via the Cloud is called the “Software as a Service” or “SaaS” model as opposed to loading software on your computer. And the SaaS model is way less expensive.

The big upside of SaaS and the Cloud for fundraising professionals – beyond the obvious price advantage - means that speed and software functionality allow us to access, manipulate and see (yes, I said “see”), and ultimately learn information faster from wherever we are. And as we learn faster…we can act faster.

As we all learn and act faster, our organizations progress faster. And THAT for fundraisers translates into raising more revenue.

Ultimately…We are the Cloud.


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