How Nonprofits Benefit From Managed IT Services
According to reports, only 11% of nonprofits say they manage digital resources in a “highly effective” way. Furthermore, merely 20% consider themselves leaders in tech adoption.
Most nonprofits don’t directly compete with profit-generating companies. However, this doesn’t mean nonprofits don’t need progressive IT solutions. In fact, quite the opposite applies. The right IT frameworks can help nonprofit organizations reach and exceed their goals.
A lot of nonprofit organizations don’t have the in-house IT functions to achieve this. Instead, they’re often left dealing with cumbersome, outdated systems, and too few hands on deck to improve things.
Enter managed IT services.
Managed IT holds a variety of benefits. These benefits can be particularly valuable and impactful for nonprofits.
If yours is a nonprofit organization, and you’re on the fence about whether or not to IT managed services is right for your needs, keep reading. In this guide, we get into the key ways nonprofits can capitalize on the benefits of managed IT services.
Managed IT Services Can Give You Access to Industry-Leading Expertise
One of the big benefits of managed IT services is it gives you access to industry-leading expertise. This can be especially beneficial for nonprofit organizations.
Many NPOs don’t have the resources to devote to a fully-fledged in-house IT function. Even if they do, the expertise they gain access to will be limited to what their IT personnel can provide.
Are you only employing a couple of IT personnel? If so, this means that your organization’s IT functions are running on their know-how alone.
With managed IT services, your organization can benefit from pooled expertise from dozens of IT professionals. What’s more, you might also be able to benefit from transferred industry experience.
For instance, here at Best Structured, we have served many nonprofit organizations over the years. Not only can we give them access to cutting-edge IT solutions, but we also have specialized experience with their needs.
We can take our experience dealing with similar organizations, and apply it to your specific case.
Lastly, hiring managed IT services also enables you to pick the brains of tried and tested IT professionals. Any team member of a managed IT company that’s worth its salt will be gaining ongoing experience. Most managed IT services professionals also engage in ongoing education.
When utilizing a managed IT services provider, you can tap into this at the drop of a hat. On the other hand, when you hire an IT staff member, you will be responsible for them receiving ongoing education.
Managed IT Services Are Highly Cost-Effective
According to statistics, the number one reason (70%) for outsourcing is cost reduction. In other words, 70% of organizations outsource functions because it is more cost-effective for them.
Outsourcing your tech needs and hiring managed IT services can be a source of substantial savings. Managed IT can be particularly cost-effective for nonprofit organizations. One of the reasons for this is that it is well suited to cyclical operations.
There are a few other reasons why managed IT can be so cost-effective.
Firstly, managed IT can save you money in hiring and staff-related costs. When utilizing managed IT services you can reduce expenditure on things like:
- Onboarding expenses
- Training expenses
- Office overheads
- Employee benefits
These areas of savings can significantly offset your managed IT services cost.
Besides this, managed IT services can also save you money through economies of scale. One of the benefits of managed IT is that providers often have access to bulk discounts that aren’t available on a retail level. They can leverage supplier relationships to unlock savings on software and hardware components.
Managed IT services providers often pass down these savings to their clients.
Another way that managed IT services can save you money is by reducing licensing and consulting costs. Although these expenses don’t go away, if you opt for managed IT you can streamline these by getting them all from one provider.
Additionally, managed IT also allows you to convert a capital expense into an operational expense. When you outsource IT, your managed IT services cost will be a monthly, fixed fee. Instead of having to pay for everything upfront, your IT expenses will be divided up into monthly payments that are easy to budget for.
Better Donor Management
Donor management is a vital area of focus for nonprofit organizations. Unfortunately, donor management can be very challenging at the best of times. Without the right IT solutions, nonprofits can run into hurdles, even if they are utilizing the best fundraising platforms.
One of the nonprofit-specific benefits of managed IT is more secure and centralized donor management.
If you hire the right managed IT services provider, they will ensure that your donor data and donations are secure and backed up.
Besides this vital function, a managed IT services provider can also help you set up systems to track, analyze, and provide reports on your results. This type of transparency can be key to keeping large donors satisfied their money is going to a good cause. It can also help to attract further donors.
Lastly, a knowledgeable managed IT services company can also help you establish systems that keep you in full compliance so you can maintain tax-exempt and nonprofit status.
Access to Professional Advice on Highly Specific Compliance Areas
One of the critical areas when it comes to nonprofits and IT management is compliance.
Most nonprofits have specific compliance requirements that need to be met while managing data and running operations. Without the right IT solutions in place, staying compliant can seem like a hit-and-miss situation.
Instead of losing sleeping over accidental noncompliance, you can seek the advice of a seasoned managed IT provider. A managed IT services provider who’s got experience with NPOs will be able to supply valuable advice on how to respond to the necessary regulations in an IT context.
This is vital for almost any NPO, but particularly those that deal with health information (which is protected by HIPAA) and accept credit card payments, which are subject to PCI compliance.
If you work with overseas currencies or data, then your compliance requirements will be even more unique.
These areas of compliance aren’t something where an NPO can afford to make a misstep. Therefore, it’s wise to get access to professional advice and assistance when it comes to your IT systems.
Another of the valuable benefits of managed IT is it facilitates enhanced security.
The costs of security and data breaches have always been significant. But lately, these costs have escalated even further.
Reports show that data breach costs have risen by 10% since last year. Typical data breaches now cost companies an average of $4.24 million.
Cyber and data security is a fast-paced field. New threats arise on a continual basis, and organizations need to be equipped to protect themselves against evolving risks.
Besides this, data systems are becoming more complex
Unfortunately, in-house IT functions are often poorly equipped to keep up with ever-changing security requirements. If you engage a managed IT services provider, they will usually be able to audit and upgrade your security protocols far more effectively.
Companies that specialize in managed IT have entire teams dedicated to security. It is also in their best interests to keep up with the latest developments in online security. As their client, you directly benefit from this focus on security.
Just like most other organizations, nonprofits often have to manage significant amounts of sensitive data. This can include payment information, customer data, employee data, etc. It’s vital that you protect this with the latest encryption, threat detection methods, and organization.
If you don’t, and your NPO gets hacked, you will not only incur vast expenses, but you’ll also lose the trust of your donors and customers. Losing trust on this level is something that most nonprofits can’t survive. Therefore, a security breach can often mean the end of your organization.
A good managed IT services company will ensure that you’ve got rock-solid security in place so that this doesn’t happen.
Managed IT Is Effortless to Scale
When it comes to nonprofits and IT management, another of the valuable advantages of managed IT is easy scaling.
Scaling in-house IT functions is notoriously costly and hard to do. It can also be especially challenging for NPOs.
Many nonprofits deal with highly cyclical work. Others manage a wide variety of projects each year. These unpredictable workflows and volumes can make accurately predicting IT needs very complex.
What’s more, with in-house IT you can’t scale operations up and then pull them back at the drop of a hat. For example, when you hire new IT staff, they present an ongoing, long-term expense that you can’t adjust from month to month.
With managed IT services, you can dial your needs up and down according to what projects and cycles are happening. If your IT needs suddenly increase, your provider should be able to meet these. If they drop for a period, you can scale back your package and save on unnecessary expenses.
Managed IT Services Can Facilitate Enhanced Efficiency Within Your Organization
Besides being cheaper and more effective, managed IT services can also trigger enhanced productivity within your organization.
A managed IT provider will be able to analyze your tech needs and implement solutions that maximize productivity and enhance your teams’ workflows. Instead of having employees wasting time on tech issues and cumbersome systems, they can get more done in less time once given the right solutions.
Another way managed IT can increase productivity is through reduced downtime. Analysis shows that the average cost of one minute of IT downtime is $5,000.
One of the reasons why downtime can be so expensive is lost productivity. When IT systems are down, many employees can’t carry on with their work. Workflows are disrupted, and even once systems are back up it can take a while for productivity levels to recover.
IT downtime is much more likely to happen if your systems are:
- Poorly configured
- Inexpertly managed
Depending on the size of your nonprofit, expecting in-house IT personnel to ensure all systems are running smoothly 100% of the time can be a lot to ask.
With managed IT services, you can rest assured knowing there is an entire team dedicated to ensuring you’re “online” at all times. Through 24/hour monitoring and proactive maintenance, they will ensure that downtime is kept to an absolute minimum.
Managed IT Can Help You Achieve Better Remote Workflows
Do you have remote workers on your team? If so, it’s essential that you set up systems and processes that facilitate issue-free remote workflows.
Figuring these out on your own can be challenging. An experienced managed IT services company will be able to draw on their knowledge of other, similar organizations to devise the perfect configuration of tools and solutions for remote needs.
They will also take the necessary steps to ensure solid security for your remote processes.
Are You Looking for a Managed IT Provider You Can Trust?
Managed IT services offer a range of benefits for most businesses. However, managed IT can be particularly advantageous for nonprofit organizations.
Leveraging managed IT can save you money, give you access to industry experts, and increase security and compliance. It is also easily scalable, facilitates better donor management, and is simpler to budget for.
Are you ready to revolutionize your IT functions while saving on costs?
If so, we can help.
Here at Best Structured, one of our favorite client types is nonprofit organizations. We understand your service attitude, and our primary goal is facilitating your success. We get that you think about your goals differently from other businesses.
We also have the experience to help you meet these goals. Different measures of success require unique IT solutions. Besides keeping your IT functions humming day and night, we can provide you with donor management, marketing automation, and management software for your unique needs.
Over the years we have witnesses the one-of-a-kind hoops NPOs have to jump through and have developed solutions to help you navigate them.
Contact us today to get started.