How Non-Profits Can Reduce the Cost of Knowledge Loss

 

In today’s world of social media, the reputation of any organisation can be ruined very quickly. Equally so with the advent of the internet, every organisation is put at greater levels of risk than ever. Knowledge loss is one of the scariest because we have no control. We see that in the legislative responses such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in Europe, and the amendments made in the Australian Privacy Act in February 2018 that there is a consensus that the treatment of Personal Information has been poor in recent times. 

Non-profit's are changing the way they use technology to leverage business growth, see how VACCHO made their change.  

Data and information are extremely powerful. More than ever, we are using data to drive decision making. Knowledge is power, after all. Knowledge in the wrong hands is extremely powerful for cybercriminals, allowing a higher percentage of exploitation for gain.

Technology is moving at such a fast pace, those that lag in the evolution of how we use technology are most exposed. What worked three years ago is no longer good enough. Ransomware, phishing, and targeted attacks are a business for some and they are extremely well versed in social engineering and convincing those less tech-inclined individuals to hand over data.

The Modern Workplace demands a higher level of security than ever before. Security needs to be inherent in any solution that is implemented to prevent knowledge loss. The trouble is, the cost of keeping the lights on is rising everywhere – cost of living, wages, petrol, and technology just to name a few. How do you continue to ensure your data is secure?

Nonprofit organisations need to always run lean, their operational costs need to be efficient and streamlined so they can spend as much of their budget on delivering the services that further the cause or passion – what delivers the greatest impact.

I know you’re busy and I appreciate you taking the time to get this far (if you have!). Now that I’ve set the scene a little bit – let's get into the key aspects of how nonprofits can reduce the cost of knowledge loss.

THE “PROFILE” OF PEOPLE IN YOUR ORGANISATION IS CHANGING, FAST

The next generation is coming through. They work very differently to the one before it, and the one before that. We are going to start seeing several different people who are going to come into the organisation that have been born with modern technology. If you don't ensure your organisation is keeping pace, you might lock yourself away from some of the best talent. But that also leads into; 

You need to provide all the tools, or they will get their own

I see it daily. If you don’t provide people with the tools that they need or want, they will get their own. Whilst this is certainly not malicious, it is a very real risk of knowledge loss for your organisation. You need to have a technology stack that enables people to work the way they want and make sure they understand why those tools are in place.

Security is a shared responsibility between organisation, staff and your IT team

If you’re not confident with your security, there is some work to be done. Staff need to understand the impact of a knowledge loss, and their part to play. Communication is key, and training must be a continuous improvement process to provide the best level of protection.

IT is no longer sitting in the dark server room in the corner of the building, they must be involved at an operational level to provide strategic direction. If you don’t have this, find it, fast.

 

Choose a technology vendor – then stick with them

Chose Microsoft, chose Google. Whatever suits your situation. Look at their stack, it is surprising what solutions they have already, with more being added at a rapid rate. Look at the innovation that they are providing and the level of integration. Integration is key to ensuring security when data is moving. If you need something new – make sure that you give preference to the integrated solution (either from that vendor, or ensuring they natively integrate). The middleware and “not quite a fit” solutions are often the most expensive.

Sometimes its easier to change your process

You’ve identified a problem and found a technology solution to resolve it. Will it give you the best outcome? Challenge why you have that problem objectively and you may find that its easier to change the people or process than the technology. Always implement based on best practice.

Keep your ICT current

You must be up to date. Staying still is moving backwards. The longer you spend behind the technology status quo, the more risk. If you’re not up to date, a security incident will occur that will cost you more to get up to date in a panic as a reaction to the incident. Being strategic in staying current allows you to make controlled decisions and manage your investment for greater impact.

Hopefully, that resonates, each of these points are designed to keep it simple. Simple saves time and money.

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Posted by Matt Sutherland

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