Cloud Computing Workshop Report Back

Commun-IT staffers facilitated a second bilingual Cloud Computing workshop on November 10th in Montreal, in partnership with Innoweave and the Centre for Community Organizations.
Held at the Centre St-Pierre, the workshop was led by Gabriel Bergevin-Estable & Parker Mah in English, and by Marc Ouimet (of pilotenumerique.org) in French. Nearly two dozen participants from a number of Montreal-based community groups attended the workshop, which was designed to help guide non-profit organizations in planning and assessing how to better manage information and communications through cloud computing tools.
Cloud computing essentially refers to the practice of using a remote network of computers (the “cloud”) to store and access digital services, programs or resources.   Before the advent of cloud computing, such information was usually stored on a locally-run server, or physically on each computer’s hard drive, which presented disadvantages in terms of ease of control and access, document tracking, real-time collaboration, software updates, syncing files between office and home computers, etc. all of which are becoming increasingly sought-after features in a modern office environment.
Cloud computing addresses some of these problems by centralizing the storage of data while offering a variety of services, ranging from project management to newsletter creation. Because less technological infrastructure is needed internally, and because of the convenience factor, cloud computing can be an attractive option for many non-profits. However, as with any organizational process, careful planning is needed to make sure that the potential benefits outweigh the pitfalls.
Our training session aimed to:
  • Clarify the goals and requirements of their information technology systems
  • Analyze the benefits and risks of moving some or all of their organization’s technology infrastructure to cloud cloud computing;
  • Apply a proven methodology for identifying challenge areas, surfacing ideas on how to address them, and evaluating technology solutions against the selection criteria that they develop;
  • Estimate the total cost of ownership for implementing a cloud-based or hybrid technology approach and conduct a zero-based budgeting exercise to distinguish between essential and nonessential activities supported by the IT budget; and
  • Design a technology strategy that aligns with their organization’s mission, culture, and available resources.
Innoweave grant deadlines fall on January 1st and July 1st. You can apply for an Innoweave Implementation Grant for Cloud Computing to work with COCo’s Commun-IT Coordinators and Cloud Computing Coaches, Spencer, Gabriel or Parker in bringing Cloud Computing to your organization.
To learn more about Innoweave Implementation Grants, click here.