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Riding the cloud through disaster

Infoxchange recently attended the Connecting Communities Christchurch/Wellington 2012 Conference in New Zealand. The Conference showcased the important role that technology plays for not-for-profits, charities and community organisations.

Andrew Mahar, founder and former Executive Director of Infoxchange, along with Amodha Ratnayeke, Manager of Online Services, presented workshops at the conference on the use of digital communication methods that utilise cloud technology and discussed information and communications technology (ICT) planning and its pivotal role in assisting organisations to reach their goals.

When disaster impacts on a region, such as the earthquakes in New Zealand, local community service organisations (CSOs) and aid agencies are not immune to the chaos that ensues. Paradoxically, it is often after such an event, when many organisations are themselves recovering, that their services are most in need.

The devastation from last year’s earthquake and aftershocks caused many CSOs in Christchurch to lose access to their technology. For many the loss was temporary, but for some the impact was more significant. Many organisations had to assist each other in order to continue their work and find new ways to function and communicate.

At the conference, CSOs talked of losing all their organisational 'knowledge' in the loss of their server. The damage to their  technology infrastructure meant that they could not deliver the usual quality of service to their community at a time that people really needed it.

During the crisis however, cloud technology was a key enabler that allowed CSOs access to information and communications. Those using cloud storage and systems were able to work from home, from a client’s home or from temporary offices. Cloud technology enabled CSOs to get back to work in a relatively short period of time and at a relatively low financial outlay.

Infoxchange is a silver partner of Microsoft and has been assisting a number of CSOs to adapt to cloud services like Office365 and Dynamic CRM for the not-for-profit community (CRM4nfp). The Infoxchange applications, tailored for the not-for-profit sector at a not-for-profit cost (avoiding the need for substantial capital expenditure), provides the capability to work from anywhere at any time.

To support digital proficiency Infoxchange has created a systematic approach to ICT which includes technology audits, policy templates and cloud applications that deliver the framework for sound ICT planning and implementation. Digital proficiency means moving beyond seeing communication technology as simply a tool and recognising ICT as a strategic asset shaping client services and coordination. Doing so will enable organisations to more efficiently and effectively pursue their mission.

Every community service organisation, regardless of size, should considered if their current ICT plan is robust enough to allow the organisation to continue to grow and function and deliver services, no matter what the weather.

For more information about cloud technology visit: www.ictservices.infoxchange.net.au/cloud_services

For more information about cloud technology applications visit the online applications section: infoxchange.newdrupal.dev