Watch the video above . . . in just 3 minutes it does a great job of explaining this whole “cloud computing” thing that you might have heard about.
Does your church manage a server that you connect to at your office? Is there ever a conversation about someone having to go “restart the server”? Do you have to drive to your church office to access any data that you need? Can you only back up your computer within the four walls of the church? Do you ever hear the guys helping with computers at your church talk about “clients”?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above . . . you are most likely running an old school approach to your information technology. You have yet to move your systems to the “cloud”. I want to give you a hug and say “I’ve been where you have been . . . but there is a hope for a brighter future!” 🙂
You need to move to the cloud. Here are 5 quick reasons that you need start the move today . . .
- You are in the people business . . . not the “upgrading patches” and “maintaining servers” business. // In an old PC world . . . you always had to worry about having the most up to date software. Basically you either stayed on top of the latest changes in the software or lagged behind because you couldn’t figure out how to upgrade stuff. In the cloud . . . you are paying for the software provider to provide a service that updates all the time. It happens . . . automagically. So you can stop worrying about what version of the database you’re running and get back to actually talking with the people who are in your database.
Know how to browse the web? You’re half way there! // Cloud based solutions run through web browsers. The web browser has become an almost universally understood paradigm for receiving information and managing it. Simply log into the service with a password and you’re on your way. All of your churches core data functions can be run through web browser based systems. Not just email . . . but group calendaring, word processing, spreadsheets, service planning, shared file storage, project management, contact management, internal chat services, creative resource clipping, accounting, payroll . . .just to name a few. Remember . . . no software to install . . . just log in through your browser and it’s ready to go.
- Accessible Anywhere // One of my mentors early on ministry used to get on me for being in the office too much. “You need to be out with the people . . . not sitting in here!” There is a lot truth to that. We live very mobile lives . . . you should be able to access all of your information on the go . . . on your computer or your phone or your wife’s computer . . . wherever. Cloud based systems are universally accessible and ready for you when you need them.
- Always Backed Up. // Often in churches we trust a loving soul to care and feed our computer systems. God Bless Church IT People. Backing up your data is a mission critical item . . . you have got to make sure the data is there at any time for you even if there is a problem. When you switch to a cloud based system you are trusting a third party service to have multiple backups of your data and they will feed those systems to ensure up time. Because your data is sharing space with hundreds or thousands of other businesses . . . the cloud computing company needs to work very hard to keep that data up and running all the time.
- You’ll be a budget hero. // IT stuff costs a lot of money but cloud based services scale more easily to the needs of your church. As you need more space or applications . . . you simply pay the monthly “rental fee” for them. No need to outlay huge sums of capital dollars to make it happen.