How Can Cloud Computing Enhance Digital Inclusion in Charities?

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Understanding Digital Inclusion in Charities

The concept of digital inclusion has become pivotal for all organisations including charities. This blog delves into cloud computing and how it enhances digital inclusion in charities. We will explore how cloud computing emerges as a crucial tool for charities. This includes how it enables them to leverage digital technology for greater impact. 

We will explore why and how cloud computing can streamline operations. We will also look at how it can amplify the reach and effectiveness of charitable initiatives. Join us in understanding and paving the way for a more inclusive and digitally empowered charitable sector.

What is Digital Inclusion?

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance describes digital inclusion as the active, ongoing efforts to ensure that all individuals and communities have access to the digital technologies they need to participate in modern society. This includes the development of digital skills, risk mitigation, and fostering innovation in underserved communities. 

The digitisation of services in recent years has left many charities struggling to keep pace. This underlines the need for a robust charity digital strategy. This digital lag can hinder charities in many ways. These include raising awareness for their cause, communicating effectively with their audience, sharing values, and attracting support​​. 

Moreover, given the charity sector’s role in supporting some of society’s most vulnerable members, inclusivity becomes imperative. It is crucial that charities provide digital accessibility to their diverse and varied target audiences. This essentially means that the information that they provide  should be designed to reach as many people as possible. Charities whose services include accessibility modifications are more likely to see a positive impact in audience reach and engagement.

Why Digital Inclusion Matters

Digital inclusion matters profoundly, especially for charities. IIt directly affects their ability to serve and connect with their audiences. Digital tools and the internet facilitate convenience and connection. Those unable to benefit from these tools are left excluded. 

This highlights a significant aspect of digital transformation in the charity sector. This digital gap is particularly relevant to charities as they are more likely to serve marginalised individuals. These individuals are also more likely to be digitally excluded, thus facing increased inequalities.

The 2023 Charity Digital Skills Report highlights that 14% of charities are concerned about excluding people from digital services, while 13% find it challenging to get their clients online. Furthermore, 45% of charities now prioritise reaching and meeting the needs of more diverse users​​. These statistics reflect the current state of digital engagement in the sector and  emphasise the critical role of charities in championing digital inclusion. By embracing charity digital transformation, they can work to avoid perpetuating inequalities and ensure that their services are accessible and beneficial to all.

What is Cloud Computing? 

Cloud computing for charities is the provision of various computing services over the Internet, colloquially referred to as “the cloud.” This innovative approach to computing encompasses a wide array of services that traditionally required physical hardware and software. Cloud computing offers flexibility and scalability, as well as the spectrum of services available to charities.

By harnessing the power of the cloud, organisations can access and utilise these services on-demand. This makes cloud based working more cost effective while significantly reducing the complexities associated with maintaining physical IT infrastructures. This accessibility and efficiency is why cloud computing has become a game-changer. It offers charities a level of technological empowerment that aligns seamlessly with their mission-driven work.

The Need for Cloud Computing in Charities

Data protection is hugely significant to charities due to the amount of confidential data they have to store. This data storage carries the risk of cyber attacks. However, the adoption of cloud computing can go a long way in addressing these challenges. Working in the cloud provides protection against data loss and a platform for efficient data management and improved security. Contrary to common misconceptions, cloud computing is not more susceptible to hacking than other online services. While it is true that the cloud can be hacked, many service providers implement extensive security measures to protect data.

The UK Government’s guide on cloud computing for the public sector emphasises the advantages of using cloud computing. It specifically highlights the benefits of data protection and charities. These advantages include cost-efficiency, enhanced collaboration and communication, remote working as long as you have internet access, and compliance with data security standards. The ability to work remotely also means that charities can reduce their carbon footprint by reducing the amount of staff and volunteers who need to commute to an office. Charities can use cloud computing to manage resources better, reach more people, and keep data safe.

Do You Need Help Making Your Charity More Digitally Inclusive?

In conclusion, the journey towards digital inclusion and the adoption of cloud computing is critical for charities. Embracing these technologies not only enhances operational efficiency and data security but also aligns closely with the values of inclusivity and accessibility that are central to the charitable sector. It’s clear that in our increasingly digital world, charities that leverage these technologies can expand their reach and enhance their services.

Understanding the complexities and challenges involved in this transition, Qlic stands as a beacon of support and expertise in the field of IT. Qlic has a wealth of experience in providing IT support, data protection and backup to charities across the UK. Book a free consultation below to see how we can help you.

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