Written on 28th March 2017 - 2 minutes

The progress of digital transformation within the charity sector

In our report ‘Good Technology’, over three quarters of the IT leaders we spoke with, said that technology is underutilised in charities due to a lack of skills and limited budgets.

We appreciate that digital transformation can seem like a daunting task, especially as charities already face pressures to maintain and update systems. However, despite barriers and tougher regulation, many charities are already ‘doing’ digital and are working hard to bring their data and systems together and improve user experience.

This shift and move towards digital transformation, results in organisations that are more efficient, flexible and provide a better service. We looked at what steps charities are already taking to implement technology.

Five key ways charities are implementing technology today

  1. Mobile in charities – working anywhere, anytime

With the majority of charities having a large workforce based in the field, working remotely is at the top of the list. Many charities have already put remote technology in place and nearly all the remainder we spoke to had plans to implement it.

  1. Cloud adoption in the charity sector

Moving to the Azure cloud hosting can save at least 56% in hosting costs and can support the agility and cost saving that charities are looking for. Adopting a cloud-based CRM can be cost-effective and flexible, freeing up much needed budgets and resource.

  1. System integration

With multiple systems all running at the same time, integration has become a common challenge amongst charities. Embracing digital transformation not only involves digitalising processes, it brings all those data sets together for one seamless working system. However, with only 11% of the charities we surveyed having initiatives underway, it is clearly early days for integration and skill gaps are preventing charities from fully embracing it.

  1. Making data work

Data is of the upmost importance to charities and is the building blocks for marketing, fundraising and grant-giving efforts. Charities want to get more from their data as well as improve transparency and integration. By visualising this data, charities can make informed decisions by providing meaningful insights and easily identifiable patterns.

  1. Improving user experience

A major part of digital transformation is ensuring the best possible user experience. With new systems, organisations often adopt a ‘design-first’ approach to development to ensure users can find information and perform actions easily. Charities are increasingly looking to re-design existing systems to bring them in line with current user expectations. The underlying functionality is sound, so with a few improvements to usability and design, systems are easier to use and cost-effectively enhanced.

It is clear from the report findings, that despite the challenges charities face in adopting technology, the sector clearly recognises that technology can help move charities forward with digital transformation, and create a more efficient way of working.

Discover more about the challenges, benefits and the way charities are implementing technology by downloading the full report: Good Technology? How the charity sector is looking to exploit the potential of digital transformation.

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