Allocating your tech budget wisely

Allocating your tech budget wisely
Allocating your tech budget wisely
  • Cody Hobbs
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Money is a resource.  That’s why it’s crucial to make sure that you’re spending it wisely when it comes to managing your association.  And in the current age in which we live, at least some of that spending is going to be on technology.

Three words: Technology is expensive.  There’s no escaping that implementing new technology into your company or organization is an expensive undertaking, and with the ever increasing rate at which it changes, its costs rise exponentially.  This is especially true when it comes to web development.  A site that was cutting edge just a few years ago is dreadfully dated by today’s standards.  And as the first generation to grow up using advanced technology steps into the market place, old dated technology just won’t cut it.   So how do you keep up to pace with current trends in technology without breaking the bank?

1. Know your audience: You don’t need to use every piece of “latest and greatest” technology.  Having a good understanding of why people are coming to your organization’s website will help you to focus in on what areas you should aim your attention and your money on.  This should be done early on in the planning phase before any development of your website begins to avoid spending in areas that you won’t really be utilizing.

2. Understand the difference between “leading edge” and “bleeding edge”: Staying on the “leading edge” will certainly help your organization stand out from the crowd, and provide your members with the most up-to-date and useful tools, but make sure you’re using leading edge technology that has been tested and proven to work.  “Bleeding edge” tech can often feel like a beta version, and be full of yet-to-be-found bugs and glitches.  No member base likes to be used as guinea pigs to test unreliable technology, and worst of all, if the experience is bad enough, it can turn your members away from wanting to interact with your new website.

3. Build with user experience in mind: When I talk about user experience, I’m not just refereeing to the members that will be interacting with your site, I’m also referring to in-house staff that will be updating the content.  It’s important to have a clear grasp on their level of technological understanding and build a site that will be intuitive and easy for them to manage.  This can greatly cut down on training and upkeep costs.

Having a reliable Content Management System (CMS) will help with all of the above points.  They can be customized with your organization’s needs in mind, and can be set up to have a user-friendly interface for your staff that will be handling the day-to-day management of it.

Like with anything you invest in, you want to make sure that you are getting a proportionate return on your investment.  Some costs of implementing new technology into your organization’s website are necessary, but they should be an aid for you to grow your organization into the future.  By zeroing in on what technology is crucial for you to have, and planning for how it will be used into the future, you can make sure that your money is spent wisely.