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Art of Technology: Core Technical Services

The core technical services portion of the Art of Technology curriculum designed with support from the Mellon Foundation.

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Art of Technology: Core Technical Services

  1. 1. The Art of Technology<br />The Art of Technology is made possible by generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation<br />
  2. 2. Core Technical Services<br />The Art of Technology<br />These materials are available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License.<br />
  3. 3. Topics for This Segment<br />1. Starting from the Top: Your Strategic Plan<br />2. A Technology Plan: What, Who, How<br />3. Right-Sourcing Your Technology Decisions<br />Breakouts for Groupwork<br />Derive a Technology Project from Your Strategic Plan<br />Right-Source a Project with Vendors, Volunteers or Staff<br />Assess Your Strengths & Weaknesses<br />Throughout This Segment<br />Examples of Technology Projects<br />Focus on Core Services: email, IT support, online services … <br />
  4. 4. Starting from the Top<br />Your Strategic Plan<br />
  5. 5. I understand my business needs. How do I evaluate my technical options?<br />
  6. 6. Strategy first. Technology follows.<br />Set goals & direction<br />Enable decision-making<br />Set basis for accountability<br />Promote growth & change<br />Support fund-raising<br />Clarify & explain vision<br />Guide ongoing operations<br />
  7. 7. Without a Strategic Vision ….<br />Technology acquisitions are ad-hoc, short-term<br />Evaluation of options is cursory<br />Technology costs are unknown, unmanaged<br />Technical training is elusive, uneven<br />People get used to things “not working”<br />
  8. 8. It doesn’t have to be like this!<br />
  9. 9. Three Levels of Analysis<br />
  10. 10. Four Viewpoints. All Essential.<br />Process<br />
  11. 11. Your Turn! A Short Exercise<br />Buddy up! Identify 3 strategic goals.<br />Pick 1 that gets the biggest boost from technology.<br />Say why. Link the 4 viewpoints.<br />Strategic Goals That Need Good Technology<br />
  12. 12. A Technology Plan<br />Who, What, How<br />… and for What Purpose?<br />
  13. 13. Technology + Planning =<br /> A roadmap <br /> A tool for budgeting & fund-raising<br />A guide for management & staff<br /> A process <br /> A document<br />
  14. 14. Planning is Cyclical<br />Needs<br />Alternatives<br />Vendors<br />Terms<br />Consultants<br />& Team<br />ED & Leaders<br />Funders &<br />Leaders<br />1<br />Goals &<br />Team<br />2<br />Options<br />& Priorities<br /> + $<br />Funders & Leaders<br />Staff & Vendors<br />3<br />Decisions<br />& Funding<br />5<br />4<br />Results & <br />Feedback<br />(+/-)<br />Doing a Project<br />
  15. 15. Think zones of business operationWhere may better technology help?<br />Proprietary inner zone<br />Secure, archived<br />Controlled access<br />Public outer zone<br />2way, multi-channel<br />Monitored messaging<br />Mediating zone<br />Planning, delivering<br />Managed services<br />
  16. 16. Think projects & outcomesDiscrete initiatives, measured results<br />Quick wins, to get started<br />Fast, cheap, doable<br />Clear impact<br />Three-year view, not more<br />Funding targets<br />Pace of technical change<br />Evidence & evaluation<br />Feasibility<br />Knowable outcomes<br />
  17. 17. Think projects & schedulesGood sequence, manageable overlap<br />
  18. 18. Think projects & budgetsMatrix of project, years – “the ask”<br />
  19. 19. Goal: Organizational StabilityProject: Standard IT Practices<br />Guidelines for privacy & professionalism<br />Standard computers & applications<br />Remote access & smartphones<br />Backups & archives for critical data<br />Shared calendars, contacts & docs<br />
  20. 20. Goal: Better CollaborationProject: Shared Online Workspace<br />Move files to more secure storage<br />Make key docs & media more accessible<br />Segregate public files from proprietary ones<br />Create staging & archiving space for website & social media<br />
  21. 21. More Information …<br />Offsite Backup<br />For critical documents (e.g., contracts) & databases (e.g., accounting), automated offsite backup makes sense. Articles like these can get you started:<br /><br /><br />Online Collaboration<br />There are lots of good options. Highlights from 2009 study by Forrester Research:<br /> attractive if “looking to deploy quickly and easily without IT support”<br /> (hosted version) “open source offering with a large and active community”<br /> a “leader” with “integrated suite approach”<br />Cisco WebEx Connect and Google Enterprise rated as “contenders” worth watching.<br />
  22. 22. Right-Sourcing Your Technology Decisions<br />Options & Basic Steps<br />
  23. 23. How can I get the right expertise, at the right cost, to make technology work better for my organization?<br />
  24. 24. Goal: Rationalized CostsProject: Realigned Our Roles & Rates<br />Volunteers & Whoever<br />Hidden costs, uncertain reliability<br />OK for minor, non-critical needs<br />Scheduled Support<br />Part-time consultant, regular visits<br />Best from small shop supporting .orgs like you<br />Outsourced Services<br />Medium-large firms, financially stable<br />Best for integrated products & support<br />Full-Time IT Staff<br />If just one – beware! <br />Consider technical manager of services & vendors<br />Which roles best fit your needs?<br />
  25. 25. Goal: Efficient OperationsPossible Project: Core to the Cloud<br />Identify core apps & benefits<br />Email, accounting<br />Security, access, cost<br />Compare vendors<br />Email: Google, Microsoft<br />Accounting: Financial Force, NetSuite, Blackbaud<br />Migrate data & get trained<br />
  26. 26. Breakout Exercise<br /><ul><li>Join up in groups of 4-6.
  27. 27. Pick 2 technology-enabled goals from the last breakout.
  28. 28. Decide right-sourcing for both.Be ready to defend!
  29. 29. Remember: viewpoints, zones, outcomes, schedule, budget</li></ul>Right-Source with Vendors, Volunteers or Staff<br />
  30. 30. Basic Steps … and More Examples<br />Focus on more complex projects<br />Pick a solution and a vendor<br />Follow four steps systematically<br />
  31. 31. Evaluating Technical Options<br /><ul><li>Avoid
  32. 32. Consider</li></ul> Recommend<br />
  33. 33. Goal: Engaging the CommunityPossible Project: Website Content<br />Select software for web content management<br /> Open Source: Joomla!, Drupal, Wordpress<br /> Commercial: Convio, Alfresco <br />Identify staffing plan – who does ongoing updates?<br />Consider implementing CMS with website redesign<br />Plan for the transition!<br />Tool for low-tech admin of web content<br />
  34. 34. More Information …<br />Web Content Management Systems (CMS)<br />Key to any web design is a good information architecture. Start here:<br />The Information Architecture Institute: <br /><br /><br />For a good, independent review start here:<br />“2009 Open-Source CMS Market Share Report,” Water&Stone and CMS Wire (2009)<br />Information Architecture<br />
  35. 35. Goal: Deep Knowledge of AudiencesPossible Project: Constituent Database<br />Select vendor for CRM - Constituent Relationship Management<br />Identify existing data<br />Procure & configure CRM software or service<br />Migrate existing data<br />Get trained on usage<br />
  36. 36. Goal: New Connections, New PatronsPossible Project: More Social Media<br />Objectives<br />Audience<br />Integration<br />Tools and Tactics<br />Measurement<br />One Way<br />emailSearch Engine<br />Ads<br />Homebase<br />Web Site<br />AudienceObjective<br />SocialListeningConversation<br />Connecting<br />
  37. 37. Basic process … Don’t skip steps!<br />SpecifyNeeds<br />Solicit Alternatives<br />Decide onSolution<br />Engage Vendor<br />NegotiateTerms<br />EvaluateSolutions<br />InvestigateAlternatives<br />Analyze Needs<br />SignContract<br />SelectVendor<br />Target Solutions<br />Prioritize<br />Contract<br />Final Proposal<br />Solicitation<br />Requirements<br />
  38. 38. Final Exercise: Self-Assessment<br /><ul><li>Strategic plans enabled by smart use of technology
  39. 39. Four viewpoints: technology, people, information, process
  40. 40. Project with targets for business zone, outcomes, schedule & budget
  41. 41. Deliberative decisions on right-sourcing
  42. 42. Four key steps in selecting a solution & vendors</li></ul>Your Organization, The Past 12 Months <br />