Auditing or contextualising your Digital Technology
Use the Digital Technology Audit template to help you do this. With it, you are describing your "as is" state across all your IT and digital systems, services, products and experience. Once you have completed the digital technology audit use the Digital Technology Planning Template to list issues, details, assign priority, and allocate timescales.
This exercise helps you describe what you have done in terms of digital development so far. What impact have these developments had on your organisation’s core objectives and/or particular strategies? What digital technology systems are in place in each department? You need to describe all the functions that you use IT for operationally, and list which software and hardware is utilised. What’s your support, back up and replacement procedures? Do you have any policies relation to IT or digital in place? Use the template above to help you do this work. You might like to do it as a team brainstorm – it’d be interesting to collect thoughts from different departments or functions on how digital technologies have impacted their activities and working practices. How do you use digital technologies to communicate with: – each other – your stakeholders – your audiences – potential audiences You could undertake a brainstorm which explores all the user journeys above. Give each person around the table a stereotypical user group that interacts with/is/you’d like to interact with your organisation. Imagine a day in their life where they suddenly decide to engage with your organisation or practice. What are they looking for and expecting? What technologies do they use in their life? How do they use those to plan, enjoy and be followed up on their interation or visit with you? Make it fun but letting people name their characters, and don’t be afraid to tell stories where actually, the user group struggles, because of their needs and digital behaviours to engage with your organisation digitally! You also need to describe how the organisation’s webpresence is set up. What platforms do you use to do what, and who updates them? What digital content is made? How and by whom? Capture baseline information on your webpresence platforms (e.g. How many Facebook Fans like your page? How many unique monthly visits to your website? How many podcast downloads? YouTube/Flickr views? etc.); and on other platforms where people talk about you (e.g. TripAdvisor, etc.) Note what systems do or do not interface with each other (eg. “we use ConstantContact for our subscribers email list, but our education database of teachers’ emails is on a different Access database”).
You might want to spend some time thinking about digital developments in general have impacted the sector and your specific area. What are the implications for the future? What are the impacts, what are the benefits? Which competitors of yours seemed to have fared well in a digital landscape? Can you analyse why?
Problems/causes You might be undertaking The AmbITion Approach because the organisation is having problems operating successfully with the current set-up. This exercise gets you to break down a complex or core problem into symptoms and factors, encouraging you to identify discreet causes, rather than being overwhelmed! The DIY Toolkit)
You might want to additionally audit your digital proficiency, and your digital assets to see where digital technologies play a part/are business critical. You might also want to gauge where your customers and stakeholders are at digitally, to see how they respond to your current digital set-up, and what they would like to see by auditing your digital engagement. In relation to your users, you might also like to consider auditing your Value Proposition and your Business Model.
At this stage you might feel a bit overwhelmed! It’s normal for cultural organisations to get a fright at this stage, particularly if the IT set up and digital developments have previously been ad hoc or piecemeal. But you know where you are at, now. The next stage of The AmbITion Approach is the uplifting and exciting part: brainstorming and thinking about where you would like to be! You will also be diagnosing and defining what IT and digital developments you will need to implement to get to where you want to be, from where you are now.