By Kalman Sweetwine

 

Anyone interested in ‘cloud computing’ quickly comes to realize that their data is not really stored in the cloud. In fact, cloud computing carries several definitions so no wonder it can be confusing. I like the following definition which I found at usinex.org. “Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”

But is the cloud a step towards a brighter and cleaner tech future? I do not know the answer and I am way under educated to offer a strong opinion on this topic. On the other hand, there may be more to consider than the actual computing itself.

Salesforce.com has opened the doors for large corporations to rely on their security and expertise. In addition, and more relevant to Cloud for Good, salesforce.com has opened a channel for nonprofits of all sizes to benefit from their cutting edge ‘cloud based’ tools. In fact, our clients range from small, start-up nonprofits driven by a community need to Ivy League Universities and everything in between.

With a vision for a better world, many nonprofits are often searching for partners that are aligned with some of their driving elements. Cloud for Good deals with several organizations involved in sustainability on some level. They could be working towards economic sustainability, environmental, access to education or services, or many other areas of need.

By choosing Cloud for Good as your implementation partner you get more than a knowledgeable and trustworthy business relationship. We strive to be a paperless office even though we are not yet there (but we are very close).  We recycle any materials that are able to be reused and we produce a miniscule amount of trash. Our driving principles are reinforced with every relationship we forge. With backgrounds in nonprofit management, fundraising, grants management, and more, Cloud for Good is invested in your organizations success.

In addition, it appears that salesforce is on the right track as well. Just take this past Dreamforce 2011 event for example.  This is surly one of the largest technology events in the world and is probably the greenest of them all. Each Dreamforce attendee received a backpack, water bottles, and there were countless stations throughout the event for recycling and composting. Of course this took place in San Francisco but still the company made conscious decisions to contribute to environmental sustainability. I have never seen any event (let alone a technology event) offer more dietary requests than Dreamforce. There were options for gluten free, dairy free, kosher, halal, vegetarian, vegan, and more.

Cloud for Good has chosen salesforce.com for more than their technological innovations and we hope our clients choose us for more than our partnership with salesforce.com.

Ultimately, if we (consumers) are striving for a green and renewable cloud, we must invest in partnerships that have the power and resources to effect this change. Cloud providers (not only salesforce.com) need to leverage their power and influence to funnel investments towards renewable resources and into research and development for the continued growth of the greener cloud. The cloud is not intrinsically green but has a tremendous amount of potential to be green. Contact Us to learn more about how Cloud for Good can work with your organization toward fulfilling your mission.

Kalman Sweetwine

Kalman Sweetwine