Getting charities to embrace digital change was a big movement in 2016. We’ve seen more charities begin to turn to technology to help improve their productivity and profitability. This year is likely to see a further push for charities to adopt technological solutions and get ahead of the game.
It is worrying to hear that 56% of charity team leaders don’t have a clear plan for the ongoing digital transformation of their organisation. Perhaps this is because almost half of those asked by Civil Society said they don’t understand it!
Remaining in the dark about the increasing digitisation of the 21st century could be more damaging than you think for the growth of your charity. Technology is now an inherent part in how we live and work and while many are understandably hesitant to this change, learning about it shouldn’t be something to fear. Nobody expects you to become an IT expert; being selective about what you focus on could make learning about the digital world easier than you think.
Opening your mind to the digital and technological sphere will develop your personal skills, ease your working life and contribute to the success of your organisation.
2017 tech trends only look to get smarter. Words like virtual reality, machine learning and big data are discussed at such a rate that it is often difficult for us to keep up. In for-profit retail, EPOS systems are commonplace and the use of tablets on the shop floor to search stock and collect customer feedback is also becoming more prevalent. In many organisations, back office operations are being digitised, data stored electronically and business intelligence software is allowing brands to engage more thoroughly with staff and customers.
Although digitally transforming the third sector is being discussed with a little more urgency, it probably still sounds a lot more frightening than it is. Taking the first step is often the hardest but there are lots of tools you can adopt at little to no cost to you. Websites such as MOOC, EDX and BBC Learning offer free online courses so you and your volunteers can brush up on your skills from home.
It’s always a good idea to collaborate with local businesses so don’t be afraid to ask them for help, hold innovation sessions and discuss any issues you may have. Creating conversations with corporate companies can open to door to meaningful partnerships and opportunities to share skills that both parties can benefit from.
To reiterate; don’t be afraid to take the first steps to incorporating digital technology into your organisation. Even small changes can lead to big results.