IT Trends for Not for Profit Organisations
20 March 2014 at 10:01 am
In 2014, Information Technology (IT) will play a significant role in assisting Not for Profit organisations to become more productive and accommodate new government regulations.
R & G Technologies offers four important IT trends for Not for Profit organisations.
Staying up to date with the latest IT trends can help organisations stay ahead of the competition, from increasing staff productivity to ensuring they meet all requirements imposed by the government.
2014’s most impactful IT trends for Not for Profits
- Mobility, including workforce retention and productivity
- A Government push to commercialise Not for Profits
- Driving organisations to run more productively and efficiently
- Government reporting
Not for Profits are now realising that mobility is very important. Imagine if your workforce could access all your systems no matter where they were. Whether you have multiple offices, or staff who require remote access, new technologies such as cloud computing will enable greater mobility.
Not for Profits will embrace mobility in 2014 for two primary reasons:
Increased productivity. Picture accessing your systems and entering notes while on-site. Many of our clients are already seeing the benefits of increased productivity that comes from mobility. For example, care workers for Xavier Children Support Services can enter case notes while on-site with a family that can be instantly reflected at the head office.
Staff retention. Your staff want technology that makes them better at what they do. Mobility increases staff efficiency and enables them achieve their goals. This is rewarding for staff and relieves the stress that comes with old and inefficient IT systems. Being able to give your staff the option to work from home or from alternative locations also improves the attractiveness of your organisation and provides greater employee satisfaction.
2. The commercialisation of NFPs
The government has made it clear that it wishes for Not for Profits to be more commercially savvy. This means that there will be more competition for funding, and the government will likely demand more outcomes for each and every dollar they give.
Not for Profit operational efficiency has become a priority for many of our clients. The more you can get out of your systems and your staff, the more you can do to achieve your goals and mission. The Not for Profits that can deliver superior outcomes for their clients will be the ones growing and receiving more funding.
Not for Profits are seeing these changes and are recognising that technology is an enabler and a competitive advantage. Technology can help you become more productive and more efficient.
Imagine if you could have a piece of software to automate all those mundane, boring tasks your staff have to do every day. How many more hours would they have in their day to help more clients? For example, when we audited a Queensland meal delivery service, we found they could save one person’s full-time wage by developing a timesheet and a government reporting software program.
Being strategic about how you use IT will give you a competitive advantage over other organisations who seek government funding.
Take for example take the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Previously, the funding was given directly to Not for Profits in lump sums. Now, the families have the power. Each family is given a specific amount of funding and they can choose their provider.
Now all these organisations must compete in the marketplace for every dollar. If a family doesn’t like a particular organisation, they can simply find someone else.
This change is spurs on the next big IT trend in 2014…
3. Improve productivity and efficiency
Not for Profits know they need to focus on things such as productivity and efficiency so that they can continually deliver great service to every client.
So how can you improve productivity?
The answer is: through IT.
Through IT, organisations can see significant gains in productivity. Here are just a few to get you thinking:
Old, outdated IT systems are inefficient. Are you manually transferring client files, using multiple systems, or doing a lot of repetitive tasks?
Managed IT is proactive. IT providers who offer managed services will transform your IT from constantly fixing problems to preventing problems altogether. This proactive approach to IT will lead to less downtime for your staff.
New software products. New technologies such as Lync and SharePoint can give your organisation significant productivity gains. These tools are designed to improve communication between staff and create an environment where the collaboration of ideas and documents can flourish.
4. Government reporting
It is clear that every Not for Profit must ensure accurate and efficient government reporting. Many Not for Profits have recognised that they need better IT systems to handle the reporting – the less manual handling and entry the better.
In the past, you might export data from your software, compile an excel spreadsheet; send it to someone to update two other columns, then submit it to the government. Now technology can automate this whole process.
With government now accepting many forms of electronic submissions, the process can literally be condensed to three little clicks, and your government reporting is finished.
How much time would that save your team?
Take advantage of these technology trends in 2014
Can you afford not to stay up to date with the latest technology?
Not for Profits that recognise the gains that can be achieved through mobility, increased productivity, more efficient systems, and time-saving reporting will be organisations that come out on top in 2014.
Cloud computing is one way Not for Profits are staying on top of these trends. Learn how you can too by downloading our free Introductory Guide to Cloud Computing for Not for Profits.
R & G Technologies is an award winning IT service and consulting company specialising in the Not for Profit sector.