Our Tech Team works hard to troubleshoot problems for all of our nonprofit clients. If you're lucky enough to call us for help, you may see one of their faces in your office climbing under desks and into offices to check cables and wires, hooking up servers and diagnosing problems onsite.
One thing that they frequently notice, particularly for organizations that occupy inherited space or perhaps space that was once used for something other than an office, is that nonprofit organizations need to invest in the effort to upgrade faulty or old wiring in the building.
Plugging new or working equipment into walls with faulty wiring is like trying to walk with a broken spine. You need a strong backbone before you can improve the technology health of your organization.
Sometimes it's easy to forget in the age of mobile or wireless Internet that you need to plug your modem into something, even if you don't plug your computer into the modem. If the wires that the modem connects to are old, they could be frayed and your connection could be frequently interrupted, preventing you from accessing email, the Internet or perhaps your shared office files.
It's also important to recognize that faulty wiring can contribute to higher electric bills and could result in a fire. It's difficult to recognize the importance of your wiring because it is costly to replace and it's not something that you can see once it's complete. What you will notice though, is that when a problem does arise, it will take your tech support far less time to diagnose and correct. Furthermore, you will likely notice faster a faster connection and increased productivity.
We know that budgeting for technology, especially in a tough economy is extremely difficult for most nonprofit organizations. It's hard to take money away from critical mission-specific programs to make investments in infrastructure. But what we do know is that a strong IT backbone reduces costs in the long run by decreasing downtime in the event of a problem and reducing stress on your outlets and sockets.