This post was authored by Dawn Krause, TechSoup webinar producer.

Cloud computing is a hot topic for nonprofits and libraries, as evidenced by the large crowd that joined us online recently for our Cloud Computing: Benefits & Barriers webinar featuring Patrick Callihan from NPower PA.

Anna Jaeger and Kevin Lo of TechSoup Global presented baseline data from our 2012 Global NGO Cloud Survey that raised important questions for the audience thinking about transitioning to the cloud. It was obvious from the chat that participants had assessment of cloud vendors and security on their minds.   

Audience members asked:

  • How can nonprofits best assess vendors when they're considering transferring all their key data to the cloud? See Patrick Callihan's forum post here for some of his thoughts.

Security in the cloud was also a large concern for participants. Kevin Lo, our Lead Technology Analyst, provided his perspectives:

  • Staff is often the weakest link in maintaining a secure environment. Many organizations are preoccupied with the security of the providers, rather than focused on training their own staff to maintain security. 
  • Develop cloud competency before placing mission critical data there.  
  • For more on security threats in the cloud, see our Security in the Cloud post.

Going forward with the survey data, TechSoup Global plans to provide an ongoing content stream on the cloud. We'll also use the information to help shape future cloud product donations.

We know that 53% of those surveyed said they'll transition to the cloud within the next three years, so this topic is critical to many of our member organizations.

Watch the webinar archive to gain a broad understanding of the cloud computing issues facing nonprofits and libraries.