With its directors taking an active part in voluntary work, ICOSS believes in giving something back to charities with ideals that are genuinely altruistic. ICOSS recognizes the underlying weakness of voluntary sector organisations and has worked previously to bridge the technological gap between large corporate companies and small organisations.
With a vast voluntary sector experience, ICOSS understands how government grants and local authority handouts fall well short of real expenditure needed. In many cases charities are expected to provide the same service as statutory organisations on the cheap! This problem is further exasperated as many voluntary organisations are understaffed forcing employees to carry out tasks that would normally be handled by four or five workers. The pressure of working in an undermanned office can be significantly reduced if smaller organisations introduce I.T models similar to big businesses.
Particular voluntary organisations may have a lot of computer hardware and feel happy that they have a suite of computers. In the majority of cases the hardware is not configured to suit the organisations needs and is normally carried out by an unqualified person. A typical scenario more often than not is a single computer workstation having access to the internet and hotmail e-mail accounts. Organisations that feel fortunate may employ someone who is technologically capable of setting up a simple network in addition to their other duties. In that case, the network is more likely to be down than up, and questions on the aptitude/ability of the usually sole or job sharing in-house IT staff, usually leaves a lot to be desired and hard to ascertain for management. For organisations that do not have any I.T infra structure, matters are made worse when they are sold solutions that fall short of what they really want. In house personnel or consultants often dictate what system they should adopt. This is normally governed by a lack of I.T expertise on the part of the consultant, ultimately resulting in a hardware heavy, non functional network that just looks better than it works. Voluntary organisations should not have to suffer in this way.
Perception of I.T
The reason why charities do not employ sophisticated computer network solutions is that they believe that they cannot afford it . The perception of IT being complicated and expensive is apparent throughout most businesses today. Most believe that a fully integrated network is usually reserved for large corporate companies often requiring complicated software and a dedicated team of staff. This is true in both cases but only to a certain extent! The network may need specialist software together with dedicated staff but companies do not have to have a team of specialists in house all the time. The problem of additional staff can be resolved by OUTSOURCING
By outsourcing your I.T to ICOSS, small voluntary organisations can enjoy having the same I.T. infra structure as a large company, this will enable smaller charities to work much more effectively employing less staff and can help break the vicious cycle that prevents voluntary organisations develop. ICOSS has designed an I.T. model that works for voluntary organisations with no current I.T. or for small networks between 4 to 30 workstations. It's a model that has been tried and tested for over 5 years and over 45 different organisations.
The downloadable PDF, semi technical overview underlines a typical outsourcing scenario that ICOSS can provide and highlights some of the key benefits a voluntary organisation can enjoy.
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