Information and Innovation for Not-for-Profit Agencies
Sink or Swim?
Nancy B is the CEO of a mid-sized not-for-profit community support agency. She’s well aware of how digital technology is constantly evolving. She also knows that to stay viable in today’s corporate environment her organization must find a way to keep up with digital changes. There are so many products out there, and the marketing ploys make them all sound ideal. How can she be sure of choosing the best fit for her agency’s unique needs? Her IT staff is great, but none of them have the business background to grasp all the variables in the wider context that she must consider.
She has contemplated hiring a CIO (Chief Information Officer) -someone with both digital and business management experience who could take the lead in making the best choices and following through to ensure that the new technology is optimized. However, even if she’s lucky enough to find all this expertise in one person, she doesn’t have the budget to sustain another high-end position. She also can’t afford to make the wrong decisions. Her board, staff and donors need to feel that she is getting the highest value for the agency dollar. How can she guide her agency to their optimal digital potential?
Nancy is right to be concerned. No business can survive today without a strong digital foundation. Furthermore, digital technology is constantly evolving, and the business world is changing in its wake. The advances we see today are just the tip of the iceberg. Transformation in the future will be exponential. Not-for-profits cannot stay isolated from this reality. They could be swept away in strong currents without the resources to navigate. The use of outdated methods and assets means loss of opportunity, credibility and revenue. There are many new and exciting options to improve business efficiency and effectiveness. However, poor choices from among the plethora of available digital solutions lead to wasted money and resources. For not-for-profits that can mean a costly and momentum-derailing depletion of reserves.
Furthermore, along with opportunity, digital transformation brings risk. Clever hackers keep finding new ways to steal information. An outdated or inadequate security system is open to attack. This is especially critical for not-for-profits who serve society’s most vulnerable populations. Large corporations have the budget to hire CIOs to ensure that they stay digitally secure and up-to-date. Smaller non-profits, like Nancy’s, are at risk of drowning in a sea of digital overwhelm. Society stands to lose precious resources that people depend on for assistance and quality of life.
INVORG’s Chief Information/Innovation Office as a Service
INVORG’s Chief Information/Innovation Office as a Service (CIOaaS) can help. This is a comprehensive service that specializes in supporting not-for-profit organizations to thrive in today’s and tomorrow’s digital environment. For an annual fee that’s considerably less than hiring a full-time CIO, INVORG’s team of CIOaaS experts will ensure that Nancy has the advice and support she needs. INVORG will assign an experienced, qualified professional to act as the CIOaaS interface for Nancy’s agency. This assigned CIO rep will take the time to evaluate and completely understand the agency’s culture, requirements, strengths and challenges. Then, working closely with both the agency and the INVORG CIOaaS team, s/he will design and execute a customized service package that includes product recommendations, key performance indicators, a transformational roadmap and a security strategy. S/he will work with the agency for as long as it takes to ensure that the digital transformation is accomplished and running smoothly across the board.
With INVORG’s CIOaaS, Nancy has the benefit of a standardized, secure, reliable, high-performing service. She will get much more than one person with some expertise; she will get an entire office with a full spectrum of proficiency in all critical areas. Thus, Nancy can be confident that she’s receiving sound advice and thought leadership throughout her agency’s digital transformation. She will enjoy competent digital governance that results in operational effectiveness. Aware of the budgetary constraints that not-for-profits face, INVORG’s CIOaaS will strive to achieve a sustainable balance between cost and efficiency. Nancy will also see long and short-term savings from better contract negotiations and the elimination of legacy systems. Her customized CIOaaS will identify and fix any loopholes in the agency’s digital operations, making sure that all is up to date and on par with comparable organizations. Security issues will be addressed, leading to a high level of comprehensive information protection.
The New CIO
Digital changes are transforming the corporate world so fast that thought leaders are redefining the role of the CIO. They assert that “I” in CIO must now stand for “Innovation” as well as “Information”. This new Chief Innovation/Information Officer is responsible for leveraging digital solutions in ways that help organizations innovate. According to Wole Akpose, CIO of Morgan State University.
“A chief innovation officer … will provide an organization with appropriate leadership to channel its resources optimally so as to maintain and or retain a leadership role in concert with its vision. It is a role that focuses on value creation for the enterprise (yes, that is the role of all members of the organization, but innovation is truly the art of value creation). Value is what consumers demand from products and services; it is what consumers consider quality. It is what they reward. Innovation is the engine of value creation. So, a “new CIO” is an organization’s chief value creator”
INVORG’s CIOaaS team is on the leading edge of this new paradigm. They provide not only digital mentoring, but business and innovation leadership as well. Invorg understands that organizations with transformative and innovative leadership are positioned to outperform their counterparts regardless of financial capabilities and other challenges. The Invorg CIOaaS team wants small and medium-sized not-for-profits to not only stay abreast of the digital revolution, but to have the opportunity to thrive through outstanding innovation and value creation. They accomplish this by helping not-for-profits close the gap between digital strategic planning and their over-all goals and objectives. Once these two factors are aligned, value is created. Nancy will have a digital transformation strategy that aligns with her agency’s unique needs, values and vision. The result will be high efficiency, quality decision making and ultimately, employee and customer/client satisfaction.
The Not-for-Profit Specialists
INVORG’s CIOaaS program leverages digital and business knowledge and experitise with a deep appreciation of the struggles involved in the not-for-profit paradigm. They are willing to listen and respond to concerns as they arise. INVORG understands the critical role that not-for-profit organizations play in the social fabric of our world today. The INVORG CIOaaS team is dedicated to ensuring that not-for-profits have the best technology possible to support their valiant and essential efforts to make the world a better place for us all.
Article by: Joseph Edward Founder & Chief Innovation Officer @INVORG & Carol Casey – Content Author