As cloud-based grant management providers grow in popularity, the more the term ‘cloud-based’ is thrown around. Claiming to be truly cloud-based when you’re not is a risky business and bending the truth can cost clients a lot more than money and resources. The most obvious risk is the security breaches that are on the increase, but it’s also the reputational risks that come with not having a truly cloud-based, modern grant management platform.
What does truly cloud-based mean?
Being truly cloud-based is where your data, software and platform are professionally managed in cloud servers that are housed in ultra-secure 3rd party data centres. Being able to access data remotely doesn’t automatically make it a cloud platform. True cloud platforms are built on world-class infrastructure with data that is more accessible and secure and is surrounded by security that is as close to impenetrable as digitally possible.
In Flexi-Grant’s case, we use top-tier Microsoft Azure data centres to ensure our client data is safe, secure and automatically backed-up. Flexi-Grant® is a truly cloud-based product.
The question is how do you tell true cloud-based grant management suppliers from cloud pretenders?
Here are 5 indicators that you have a truly modern, cloud-based Grant Management Platform:
1. Free, Regular Updates
How often does your system get updated? Do you have to pay for these updates? With a truly cloud-based platform your updates should be regular (we release monthly updates at Flexi-Grant® HQ). All updates should be free with your contract. You shouldn’t have to pay extra, and you shouldn’t get kicked off the system whilst they do it.
2. The Power of a World-Class Hosting Provider
Has your supplier installed a virtual private network (VPN) and called their platform ‘cloud’ just because you’re able to access their remotely? Or have they invested in partnering with a world-class hosting provider to ensure your data is secure, accessible, and agile? We’re not afraid to brag here at Flexi-Grant® HQ; our hosting provider is Microsoft® Azure in London and we chose them because they’re the best!
They hire a staggering 3500+ cybersecurity experts just to ensure their Azure infrastructure is as secure as possible.
3. They Invest in their Engineering/Development Team
Look at your supplier’s website…are they continuously hiring for new Engineers/Developers and is their team always growing? Look for suppliers who have a proportionally greater number of Engineers/Developers to any other member of staff; it shows they take ‘quality’ and their product seriously.
4. They take Back-ups Seriously
How often does your supplier perform back-ups of the system? Are they hosted with a reputable hosting provider who perform regular, automatic back-up’s or are they doing it manually with no way of proving how often it actually happens? It’s important to always be ready for the bad days. Those days in the digital world or when there is a threat to data, a security breach, or a system failure and although nobody wants any of those scenarios to happen, in today’s world you can never be 100% sure. That’s why you need to be clear what your supplier means by ‘regular back-up’s’. What is their data recovery plan in case of an emergency? Flexi-Grant® have a remote server for back-up’s just in case for any reason the current server they use fails and they perform daily back-ups of all data (and sometimes more than this!)
5. Independently Tested
We’re a growing software company ourselves so we know all about sourcing and engraining new pieces of software into our business and we hear it all the time; ‘our platform is secure and heavily tested’. Again, what does this mean? Does it mean they have a team who test as new features and bug fixes are released or does it mean they pay a 3rd party company to actually independently penetration test their platform? This means paying a (non-bias) company to purposefully try and hack the platform. Flexi-Grant® invest in twice-a-year penetration tests by a 3rd party supplier; it’s costly but worth it (our team are made up of a bunch of nerds; they take security seriously!)
A truly cloud-based platform provider (and not a pretender) will invest in these fail-safe measures if they believe in providing a quality, cloud-led environment for their clients.
Flexi-Grant® is a leading cloud-based grant management platform designed for those funding life changing grants to both individuals and organisations. Its powerful features give grant givers the ability to build, score, review, report, and budget all in a secure and accessible platform.
Our team are a mix of grant managers, cybersecurity experts and hardcore engineers with a passion for sustainable software; get in touch now to find out more about Flexi-Grant’s truly cloud-based Grant Management platform.