As a nonprofit, your organization is focused on achieving its core mission, helping better our society and communities. This means that your technology must be cost-effective, help streamline processes, improve efficiency, and optimize the main functions of your organization. While funds must focus on achieving the mission of the nonprofit, technology can help make that mission happen faster and more efficiently. Therefore, understanding and investing in a nonprofit technology roadmap for the future success of the organization provides a significant benefit in the long run.
Clearly defining the strategic objectives of your organization and how technology will help to achieve these goals is a critical step to a successful IT strategy.
– What software and technology tools can help your team become more proactive and responsive?
– How can additional value be created for your stakeholders?
– In what ways can technology make the processes of your organization streamlined?
What Does the Future Look Like?
While making technology investments based on the current needs of users and the IT environment may make sense for today, looking to a longer time horizon of three to five years sets your business up to be competitive for the future. You want to get the most out of your technology investment, so ensuring that your technology is flexible, scalable, and expandable enough for long-term needs is your best bet. Furthermore, planning ensures that your investment saves your nonprofit money in the long-term. Your system can be set up in a way that adapts for the long term.
Define Needs and Priorities
A needs assessment is the best way to determine, assess, and understand what the future state of your technology needs to look like.
According to BDC Canada, when creating your roadmap, you’ll want to:
– Review your business processes and highlight inefficiencies
– Identify technology gaps or areas where your existing systems fall short
– Identify the functional capabilities needed to effectively support or improve your processes
– Prepare an itemized, prioritized checklist of what steps need to be taken
Technology investment can be significant. Therefore, it’s important to research pricing and be realistic about costs. Ensure that costs such as infrastructure, subscription fees, annual maintenance, and support fees are considered. Budget constraints can be tight with a nonprofit, whereby fund allocation is focused on achieving the core mission of the organization. Therefore, it’s important to realistically understand what the technology investment will be over the years.
Develop a Timeline
Realistic timelines must be outlined for defining a nonprofit technology roadmap. Items such as priorities, project duration, and available resources need to be accounted for, including constraints such as busy seasons.
Outside managed IT services organizations such as SysGen can also help in the implementation of technology roadmaps should staffing and resourcing issues exist. With experience implementing technology roadmaps, SysGen also has knowledge and learnings to pass along for the successful implementation of a technology roadmap.
Internal Technology Decision-making Team
Building a team with the right stakeholders will help to ensure that the nonprofit technology roadmap accommodates the needs of all departments and groups while considering the overall needs of the organization. These individuals will likely have different needs and opinions but achieving consensus will ensure the plan benefits all over the long-term.
Your Nonprofit Technology Roadmap
Understanding the future state of your organization to retain a competitive advantage is fundamental to the strategic development of a nonprofit technology roadmap. This ensures that technology grows and adapts with your organization while costs are managed. Without a plan that includes the right people and groups as part of the decision-making process, the technology implemented won’t represent all needs as well as the evolution of the organization.
If you’re looking for guidance in developing your nonprofit technology roadmap, reach out to SysGen. Our experience developing technology roadmaps for not only nonprofits but a variety of small and medium businesses can help your organization achieve its future business goals.