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Partner News: Why your operational IT budget could kill your Association

How did you create your annual IT budget this year? Did you use last year’s figures with a slight increase for CPI adjustments?

Most Associations take this approach, but if that’s all they ever invest in their IT, they’ll eventually have a technical debt.

For too long, many IT departments (including those outsourced) have been running their operations on the back of pennies and good intentions despite the organisation’s increasing reliance on their IT infrastructure over time. As such:

  • Staff is underutilised and frustrated because of slow or inadequate systems and devices that contribute to significant manual processes.
  • Members are unimpressed by the challenges of interacting with your Association, including renewing their memberships or paying for events.
  • Outsourced IT vendors only provide the essential break/fix services, ignoring increasing risks in cybersecurity.
  • If the Association has IT staff members, they are often underskilled and likely underpaid (making it harder and harder to replace).

Even though any of the above issues could impact the organisation’s ability to deliver its core services, many Associations will accept these significant risks to reduce their annual expenses.

As your Association begins the budget cycle for next year, it’s time to consider, “How much of our mission is dependent on technology?” Then, it’s time to increase the annual IT budget in proportion to this level of dependency.

Otherwise, your Association will soon be forced to make significant capital expenditures due to the risk and pain created by the accumulation of underfunded years.  And then, will you have the money to do so?

Tammy Ven Dange of Roundbox Consulting is a former Association President, charity CEO, Not for Profit Board Member and IT Executive. Today she helps Associations with IT investment decisions.

Connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

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BE Perth APRIL 2024
Roundbox Consulting APRIL 2024