Cloud Computing: It's in Your Future
Here's a concise description of cloud computing - get ready for it, it is in your future - by Lucy Bernholz at Philanthropy 2173, along with some insights on its use by nonprofits and funders.
"Cloud computing offers us all the same freedom for our information infrastructure ("Infostructure"). Most of us now host all of our applications and our data and our email systems documents/spreadsheets, etc. on our own servers or desktops. In addition to running a youth organization or a job training program or an environmental advocacy campaign, you are also running an information and technology system on which you do your work. With cloud computing, you access your software applications over the Internet using a web browser. Chances are you probably already do this with Yahoo Mail or Google Docs or Flickr or Salesforce or Twitter or Facebook. Some of the benefits of cloud computing are obvious - many of the programs noted above are free (that's good), version upgrades are instantaneous and don't require you to contact an IT department and you can access your files from any computer."