In recent weeks, the charity sector has experienced a huge cultural shift to working from home as organisations have been forced to rapidly adopt remote working strategies during the COVID-19 crisis.
Smartdesc has been implementing Remote Working and general IT Strategies for charities and non-profit organisations for many years, but the rate of adoption we’ve seen since March 2020 has been astonishing, and a lot of positives – and good practice – have come out of it.
Our Charity IT experience and charity sector knowledge of implementing remote working strategies has proved that there are many benefits to cloud computing. This includes the ability to scale fast and the flexibility to be able to access email and files remotely from anywhere, via various devices.
Charities have many great options to choose from, however, Microsoft 365 has been a popular choice and it is extremely cost–effective.
Microsoft 365 Business Premium is free for the first 10 staff members, then only £3.80 per seat per month thereafter. This gives you absolutely everything:
- Email & Shared Files all cloud based
- Azure Active Directory for single sign-on and security control
- Spam protection through Advanced Threat Protection
- Mobile Device Management through InTune
- Centrally controlled settings and encryption through Autopilot
- Two Factor Authentication
- Microsoft Teams for integrated collaboration, calls, video conference and chat
It’s totally compelling, and we have migrated several charities completely away form their physical servers to an entirely cloud based setup – goodbye servers, VPNs, disconnections and hello agile, flexible working at home, on the train, in the office, or anywhere else, in a secure way.
Remote Working Policies for charities
The tools are one thing, but making sure people can use them is quite another! Our Charity IT Helpdesk supports thousands of staff across the country in using cloud systems, and most of our support calls from these customers tend to change from “this is broken” to “how do I…” – it’s a positive shift that underlines how important it is to embed regular training and back this up with organisational policy and guidelines on what tools to use for what purpose.
Policy and training typically cover;
- How to log in remotely
- Which Communication Tools to use for which purpose
- Lone Working Advice
- ‘Bring Your Own Device Policy’
- IT Acceptable Use Policy
Our Charity IT Policy Templates are available to request from Smartdesc if you don’t have them in place right now. They are based on industry and GDPR best practice, are free of charge, and can be easily tailored to your organisation.
We work closely with many organisations within the charity and non-profit sector, helping to ensure that sensitive data can reside securely in cloud services.
Have a look at our Secure Remote Working blog for a series of simple, easy to implement suggestions to reduce the most prevalent risks
Contact us if you would like a Charity Remote Working Health-Check of your cloud security settings.
We also have a full suite specifically designed for remote working. The Smartdesc Secure Remote Toolkit is a set of controls for charity remote working.
The ‘Everyone is Agile’ Webinar discussed some of the challenges and successes charities have encountered with their IT and telecoms implementing remote working for everyone.
Click Here to listen to the recent webinar.
Smartdesc is also a Trusted IT Supplier for ACEVO. View the Case Study – ACEVO – Remote Working with Microsoft 365.