Youth & Opportunity
Engineering , Math
10,500 NGOs Worldwide Respond to the TechSoup Global Cloud Computing Survey
Editor’s Note: We work with TechSoup Global to deliver our nonprofit software donations program to tens of thousands of nonprofits around the world every year. In addition to donations we collaborate to ensure nonprofits have the tools necessary to effectively deploy that technology and grow their impact. TechSoup Global’s Dan Webb provides highlights from their newly published 2012 Global Cloud Computing Survey and a look at what’s next.
By Dan Webb, Director of Services and Solutions, TechSoup Global
TechSoup Global has announced the results of its 2012 Global Cloud Computing Survey of 10,500 nonprofits, charities, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from 88 countries.
At TechSoup Global, we’ve long worked with partners, like Microsoft, to bring available technology to nonprofit organizations. Together, TechSoup Global and Microsoft have enabled more than 180,000 nonprofits around the world to save more than US $3.2 billion in IT expenses. And we want to make certain organizations can effectively use the technology, not just to increase their own efficiency, but to better serve and transform their communities.
Cloud computing is the next frontier for NGOs. It changes what’s possible for organizations on the ground. To understand the opportunities and challenges in adopting cloud computing, we conducted a worldwide survey of NGOs. We fielded our survey in May of this year and reached organizations in 88 countries. As a global organization, we are very interested in the worldwide results, but we are also interested in understanding what cloud computing means country by country, region by region. To this end, we translated the survey into 21 languages and received statistically significant results (over 100 responses) in 26 countries. More than 10,500 organizations worldwide spent the time to help us figure out what cloud computing means to them. You can read the full report in English. The TechSoup Global Network has also translated the executive summary into local languages.
What we have learned in this survey is consistent with research studies released by organizations like NTEN.
We found out about the advantages of cloud computing from the NGO perspective:
We learned about the barriers:
And we learned about the motivators:
Taken together, we feel that the we — and by we I mean TechSoup Global, our worldwide network, and every capacity builder, funder, and technology expert who works in this field — can do more to make the cloud even easier. We need to fully understand the business processes of the organizations we serve. And we need to build solutions that meet the needs of organizations and, as much as possible, meet them where they are.
We need solutions that include an ability to ask a question of an expert or another NGO user. We need solutions, like those from AidMatrix, that are for specific types of organizations. We need solutions that address security concerns in a language organizations can recognize.
In short, we need solutions. And the cloud can enable us to offer those solutions broadly, to provide data back to organizations, and to determine benchmarks for services that can be used by funders and others. We just have to do it.
When we start doing this, we will be closer to achieving our goal: offering technology that feels effortless to the users and allows them to spend their time working on their communities’ most pressing issues.
Visual Studio 2012 has just launched and we’re happy to report it’s available for eligible nonprofits through our software donation program.
The Visual Studio 2012 products make it easier than ever to develop applications,. Whether you are developing for Windows 8, the web, Windows Phone, or Azure, Visual Studio 2012 has the tools you need to turn your idea into reality.
To provide an overview of Visual Studio 2012 we sat down with Alvin Ho, Senior Test Lead for Visual Studio Ultimate Tools and one of the authors of the Channel 9 series on Visual Studio 2012 Premium and Ultimate.
Q: Alvin, what’s new in Visual Studio 2012?
Alvin: Our team has worked hard for this release of Visual Studio and there’s many new and exciting features. Just to name a few:
Q. What’s of particular interest to nonprofits?
Alvin: Technology keeps moving forward and whether you are in a profit or nonprofit organization, I believe that equipping yourselves with the right and proper tooling will enable you to be effective in driving your organization’s mission. As we all know, Microsoft will be launching Windows 8 later this year, and Visual Studio 2012 provides the full support to build your new Windows 8 app. Moreover, as we build more and more software, code can and will turn into a maintenance nightmare if they are not well managed.
I haven’t worked at a nonprofit organization before, but I can guess they also have limited time and resources. With Visual Studio 2012, we are equipping developers, architects, testers, and project owners with the tools to build cutting edge software while doing so in a maintainable way.
Q. What’s your favorite new functionality or feature?
Alvin: My favorite functionality in Visual Studio 2012 has got to be the ability to visually see the impact of my code changes. With the new Solution Explorer, it lets you navigate down to the class and method level nodes, and drag-drop them onto a diagraming surface. This will automatically detect the dependencies between the methods you have on the diagram and enables you to see if you have introduced any new unintended dependencies (such as circular references) with the existing code. So as you write new code, you can literally see through a diagram of how your code interacts with the rest of the codebase!
Q. Where can nonprofits go for some documentation, help, and other information?
Alvin: We’ve created a series of videos that give an overview of the key features in Visual Studio Premium and Ultimate 2012: http://channel9.msdn.com/Series/Visual-Studio-2012-Premium-and-Ultimate-Overview
If you’re looking for more details on each feature you can find out more on our MSDN site:
Here’s a link to a matrix of which features are included in which Edition of Visual Studio:
Getting your hands on Visual Studio 2012 via the Microsoft nonprofit software donations program:
If you working in a nonprofit find out how you can order Visual Studio 2012 here.
Alternatively, please let your favorite nonprofit know how they can access software donations from Microsoft by sending them this link.
This week Microsoft, in partnership with National Journal and The Atlantic, hosted Conversations with the Next Generation, a youth town hall in Charlotte, N.C. The conversation, convened in the midst of the Democratic National Convention, focused on critical issues for young Americans, including the economy, jobs and education. This followed a similar event at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL last week.
Town hall participants included actors and young leaders such as former White House public outreach aide Kal Penn, Voto Latino leader America Ferrera, The Creative Coalition member Alfre Woodard, StudentsFirst Founder and CEO Michelle Rhee, MTV’s Andrew Jenks, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Young Democrats President Rod Snyder and local education leaders including Johnson C. Smith University President Dr. Ronald Carter and student Charles Hauser. Brad Smith, Microsoft General Counsel and Executive Vice President, also participated, offering opening remarks for the town hall.
You can find out more about the event on the ‘Microsoft on the Issues’ blog and we’ve included some video highlights below.
Mayor Kasim Reed at "Conversations with the Next Generation" Charlotte Town Hall
Kal Penn at "Conversations with the Next Generation" Charlotte Town Hall
Michelle Rhee at "Conversations with the Next Generation" Charlotte Town Hall
By the Microsoft Disaster Response Team
“We cannot stop natural disasters but we can arm ourselves with knowledge:
so many lives wouldn’t have to be lost if there was enough disaster preparedness.”
– Petra Nemcova, Disaster Survivor and Founder of Happy Hearts Fund
With the recent impacts of Tropical Storm Isaac, disaster preparedness is likely on the minds of many. September 1st marked the first day of National Preparedness Month in the US. Throughout September the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the sponsor of National Preparedness Month, will be conducting extra efforts to encourage citizens to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies now. It is a great reminder to those who have not yet established a preparedness plan and kit, but also a time for those who have a plan to practice and review supplies.
The Microsoft Disaster Response team supports the preparedness cause by encouraging a focus on preparedness throughout the month of September and connecting communities with technology tools that are available to assist. Have you considered how you will alert your family or access important documents if you are displaced during a disaster?
FEMA recommends preparing a family emergency plan to establish how you will communicate with one another, where you will meet, and how you will get to a safe place. Education and planning is the key to preparedness.
Preparedness Fun for Kids
Planning Tools for Adults
Preparedness Resources from Microsoft
For more resources on disaster preparedness for your home, office, and community visit the FEMA website and Ready.gov.
Join us on Xbox LIVE or The Atlantic website today at 2:30 p.m. EDT for Conversations with the Next Generation, a youth town hall discussion convened in partnership between Microsoft, National Journal and The Atlantic, being held in Charlotte, NC during the Democratic National Convention. The event is designed to engage our nation’s current and up-and-coming leaders on the important issues facing America's young and emerging workforce, including job creation and educational opportunity.
America Ferrera, Kal Penn, Michelle Rhee, Andrew Jenks, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Young Democrats President Rod Snyder, Johnson C. Smith University President Dr. Ronald Carter and student Charles Hauser will join program moderators Chuck Todd and Chelsea Clinton of NBC and National Journal’s Chris Frates.
A similar event was held at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Participants included Josh Romney, George P. Bush, Rep. Aaron Schock, StudentsFirst Founder and CEO Michelle Rhee, "Two and a Half Men" star Angus T. Jones, MTV's Andrew Jenks, the national chairman of the Young Republicans and local education leaders including MaryEllen Elia, Superintendent, Hillsborough County Public Schools and Brian Goff, Student Body President, University of South Florida-Tampa.
Watch highlights of the Tampa town hall below.
MTV's Andrew Jenks at “Conversations with the Next Generation” Town Hall:
George P. Bush at “Conversations with the Next Generation” Town Hall:
Michelle Rhee at “Conversations with the Next Generation” Town Hall:
Josh Romney at “Conversations with the Next Generation” Town Hall:
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