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Nonprofit, NGO cloud adoption accelerates, study says

Cloud computing deployments can be seen across many verticals, as the private businesses and public agencies are not the only groups adopting the technology. A new study by TechSoup Global found that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are also embracing the cloud.

The survey, which polled more than 10,000 charities, nonprofits and NGOs from 88 countries, found that there are many motivators and barriers to cloud adoption and decision-makers within these groups need more education to fully take advantage of the benefits the cloud provides. In fact, a number of respondents said they were not even sure if they were leveraging the cloud.

"TechSoup Global is thrilled to better understand how and why cloud computing can rapidly advance the causes of every social benefit organization in all parts of the world," said Rebecca Masisak, co-CEO of TechSoup Global. "By sharing the voices of NGOs with the sector as a whole, this survey will allow us to better use cloud computing to improve organizations' effectiveness, collaboration, and access to data."

Cloud computing adoption among NGOs
The study found that 90 percent of respondents said they are leveraging at least one cloud-based application, such as cloud storage, while another 53 percent plan to move a significant portion of their IT operations to the hosted environment within the next three years.

While there are many benefits associated with utilizing cloud computing, 79 percent of decision-makers said the most advantageous quality of the cloud is the ability to manage software and hardware more efficiently.

Unfortunately there are still some barriers to adoption. The most common inhibitor is a general lack of knowledge, as 60 percent of respondents said their inadequate understanding prevented them from adopting the cloud. Another 47 percent of decision-makers said if the services were easier to set up and cost less, they would be more likely to implement the technology.

"TechSoup Global has long worked to bring available technologies to nonprofit organizations. And this survey shows that the global NGO sector can do more to make the cloud easier by creating solutions that address the precise needs of organizations across the world," said Dan Webb, TechSoup Global's director of solutions and services.

According to MarketsandMarkets, the global cloud computing industry is forecast to generate more than $121 billion in revenue by 2015, up from only slightly more than $37 billion in 2010.

As awareness and understanding of the cloud increases around the world, more organizations will embrace the technology.

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