Leveraging Technology

More with less. That’s why technology is important to you, Mr. or Ms. organizational leader. But you know that.

What you may not know is that the whole marketplace for acquiring applications to help run your organization has completely changed over the past 10 years. Recently, I became part of a task force to strategize and implement a social networking platform to serve the constituents of a group of related nonprofits.

The alternatives boil down to a) a customized online site built on a proprietary platform, or b) a customized site built on an off-the-shelf platform. Option A is estimated to cost $50-60K and take about 6 months to build and launch. Option B can be up and running in a couple of hours at a cost of … zero.

Now this scenario is not new. Custom vs. off-the-shelf has been the choice for a long time. The difference today is that off-the-shelf actually works in many, many cases.

Surveys, websites, blogs, social networks, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, content management systems (CMS’s), project management and collaboration, even e-commerce are just some of the set-it-and-forget-it solutions available. Almost all offer free, “test-drive” options. The, you typically pay a low monthly fee based on actual capacity needs. These web-based applications are fantasic tools for prototyping and market research, if not for the whole solution. Or, at the very least, the 90% solution. Now versus later. Pocket change versus significant investment. Do-it-yourself versus hire-an-expert. These are just “must-consider” solutions for almost everyone, especially if your organization is small to medium and budget dollars are hard to come by.

More with less. More for less. You owe it to your supporters. Let me know if I can help.

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