Stephen Rockwell's blog

Stephen Rockwell's blog

IT Security for Nonprofits: Preventing Data Leakage

With all the talk about social media, Web 2.0, and cloud computing, it can be easy to get caught up in the allure of the promise of how new technologies can empower nonprofit missions. While I love to write about these opportunities, this blog is more of a back to basics on IT Security. In particular, I'll address issues data leakage and how best to protect against it.

Potential Big Issues with Data Leakage

What is IT Architecture and Why do So Few Nonprofits/NGOs Get It?

In the corporate world, IT Architecture is a topic discussed and planned with varying degrees of effort and effectiveness. Regardless of the effectiveness of planning and governance efforts, architecture is a topic of conversation within corporations, whereas I have never heard the term in my work with nonprofit/NGOs.

Defining Social Value Through an IT Lens

Defining value is a difficult task within the nonprofit sector because of the double bottom line with which organizations must contend. Nonprofits must concern themselves with both financial performance and mission-related social value. As a result of the varied missions throughout the sector, the desired outcomes of nonprofits do not readily lend themselves to a standard definition of value.

Technological Innovation and Networks in the Nonprofit Sector

A growing interdependency exists between government, networks and the private sector facilitated by information and communication technologies and a networked mode of organization that encourages cross-organization and cross-organizational interdependencies. “Networks allow innovative government officials to discharge government’s important role in solving social problems, by supporting – not supplanting – functioning elements in civil society.”1

The Tech-Savvy Nonprofit

What qualifies as a tech-savvy nonprofit? How do you know that your organization is utilizing technology at a proficient manner? Why should you even want to attain a state of tech-savvyness? These constantly evolving questions, but there is some fantastic research available on the corporate side that we can adapt to the nonprofit sector.

Iran's Revolution 2.0

We often hear that technology is value-neutral. The argument goes that the new technologies and communication tools can be used for good and for evil. I actually disagree. The communication tools themselves lend themselves to the different forms of social and political arrangements. For example, the invention of the printing press fundamentally changed who had access to learning and how quickly ideas could spread.

The Role of the Online Community Manager

Over the last couple of months, I have seen more and more job postings from innovative nonprofits that are hiring for online community manager positions. This is a welcome sign that we are fast reaching an inflection point in the adoption of 2.0 technologies. Whether creating new positions or adjusting current positions, nonprofits are adjusting their human resources to meet the growing demands of building online community.

There a number of skill sets that one ought to look for when hiring the online community manager:

Intranets Review: Open Atrium, SharePoint, Google Sites

Online collaboration has long been a goal of many organizations. Interestingly enough, corporations have been much faster than nonprofits in incorporating knowledge management and collaboration technologies that comprise intranets. One might think that nonprofits have a need for greater collaboration and connection with constituents, customers and donors. However, whether wikis, knowledge management, or instant messaging, corporations have seen and captured the value of emerging technologies and concepts much faster than the nonprofit world.

How we move our organzation to the cloud and why you should too

Within the last year, my former organization, MCS had eliminated all of its technology infrastructure by moving our applications to “the cloud”. For those of you not familiar with cloud computing, its essentially hosted software applications and associated data on the Internet in a models.

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