Softwerx co-hosted an in-person event with Microsoft on Wednesday the 15th of February for nonprofits at the Microsoft Research Campus in Cambridge. The event, entitled ‘Envision: The Future of Security and Compliance’, was designed for charity leaders to come together and spend quality time with experts, share concerns about cybersecurity, and deepen insights.
The event was well attended, with guests like Chris Lines – Territory Channel Manager for Tech For Social Impact at Microsoft and Chris Holden – Information Systems Manager at Kidney Research UK. The panel discussion was a highlight of the day, and topics discussed ranged from concerns about offsetting costs when there is not enough budget for security, to better understanding data governance and Microsoft licensing.
The main theme emerging from the event may be no surprise: it re-emphasised that charities are facing a lot of serious challenges when it comes to their IT systems and infrastructure. They have complex environments, legacy systems, and a lack of resources. The security concerns that come with these challenges can be overwhelming.
The participant’s main focus was on how Microsoft can be used as a tool for cybersecurity. They looked specifically at insider risk, lack of understanding of data governance and data loss prevention, and how to prevent data breaches from occurring.
The session also touched upon how Microsoft can be used to integrate different systems, which is an important factor for businesses that want to move away from legacy systems. It emerged, for example, that Kidney Research saved £600 per month by moving to Microsoft.
Overall the participants found it very helpful. Aidan Forman, Director of Technology at RNIB and CIO 100 Award winner commented, “It was a brilliant session.” Jamie Littwin, IT Lead at EAAA found the event “incredibly insightful, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
To conclude, the charity sector is complex with many different challenges, making it difficult for them to invest in the right technology. The round table helped demystify some of the conversations surrounding Charities and how to realise a more secure future. This was also a unique opportunity for nonprofit leaders to influence Microsoft’s technology strategy. We look forward to hosting another Executive roundtable with Microsoft so watch this space.
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