There is a major new trend of churches quickly moving to the cloud, as this cuts on expense of personnel and major upfront investment for hardware purchases and infrastructure design.
It seems kind of ironic that small to mid-sized churches who might typically be classified as archaic and set in their ways-are quickly turning to cloud computing solutions to solve their recurring need for ongoing communication and constant contact.
Anyone who's spent any time around a church, knows that the pastor's job keeps him tied to the physical location far more than what his written contract calls for. Members tend to overlook it and Pastors usually just deal with it.
In fact, anyone who is on church staff can quickly find that their own home life suffers because it is in constant competition with the "other" church family. So it comes as no surprise when we find pastors frantically searching for new ways to communicate with members, new ways to connect to their congregation and new ways of managing their time and resources.
Finding a new way of keeping up with the strenuous demands of ministry, could very literally mean the difference between heaven and hell for church leaders and members alike.
It is estimated that within the next two years, 70% of small to medium sized businesses will be transitioning to a complete cloud infrastructure, phasing out cumbersome hardware and outdated software. When adding small to medium sized churches to this percentage, it equates to a big piece of the pie in the sky for technology providers.
AKC Solutions, a technology provider in Charlotte, NC realizes the importance of including church's in their marketing efforts. They've recently setup a cloud phone system for a local church that wanted to allow its staff members to answer their church phone extension on-the-go or after-hours for emergencies.
Cloud conferencing capabilities are also in huge demand, as churches are well-known for their plentiful committee meetings that monopolize way too many evenings from home. Telephone and video conferencing allows these meetings to be held virtually so that members and staff can attend even when they're not able to physically make it over to the church.
And let's not forget about the church administrative assistant who often finds herself in charge of a full-time set of duties on a part-time salary. What happens when she forgets to press send on an email to church members reminding them Sunday morning worship is at the park this week?!? In the past, she'd have to crank up her car and head back to the church office, fumbling with deactivation of the alarm system. But today, with the capability of using virtual operating systems, as opposed to the legacy desktop, she would just sign into her system from home and send her email as if she'd never left the office.
It doesn't end there. Churches are also utilizing social media, such as Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with members and send condolences for someone's latest loss. Seems out-of-touch? Well, consider not only the benefit of real-time collaboration with and among church members, but also the ability to get an ongoing view of what's going on in the life of your members and church friends-real time. Gone are the days when the Sunday hand-shake from the pastor is enough to keep members engaged.
Twitter is a way for churches to broadcast their services and events live, allowing members to contribute a stream of interaction that would otherwise go unheard. While it's impossible to allow every member to stand up in the service and say what's on their mind with no regard to time constraints, Twitter makes it easy for members to get it out of their system without distracting those who just aren't interested in that type of interaction.
Churches need virtual storage space that can be accessed from anywhere: the lakeside retreat, the church gym, Sunday school classes and even from home. With the increased integration of media into church services and small groups, it is essential that the media is centrally available, so that no one person is responsible for the safety of the data. Access and organization are key. Cloud data storage is the perfect solution for keeping up with the high demand of media integration as a means of reaching more with the message of God's love.
For more information, go to www.akcsolutions.com