Getting started with ICT
Why should you be thinking about ICT?
Using the internet to connect with others
Many people in our communities benefit from the use of ICT by voluntary and community organisations. Older people in day centres use the internet to contact relatives or order shopping online. Local people are using webpages and email to initiate support for and raise the profile of campaigns in their communities. People with disabilities connect with people from whom they would otherwise be excluded.
Managing your work online
Email newsletters and a website are cost-effective ways for a small organisation to maintain its profile. Application forms, expert help or news about funders can be accessed through the web at any time of the day or night. Part-time and voluntary staff can use email and shared documents to work with colleagues, even if they are based in different locations.
Using technology to be more effective
There is no point pretending that the way we work now can be completely free of technical glitches or time-wasting hold-ups. But if you get the blend right there is plenty of evidence to show that you will get more done, do new and more effective things, spend less time on repetitive, automated tasks and have access to valuable information that was previously hidden.
But where do you start if you want things to work better? How can computers and the internet really make a difference? What evidence is there that it isn’t easier to stick to pen, paper and the Royal Mail? What are the simple things that make a difference?
The key is to remember that technology is a tool. With good planning and careful implementation you will choose the right tools, learn how to get the most from them and have the support to keep things running smoothly.
Is ICT really helping?
Whatever you do with your ICT, keep your eye on the real reason why you’re doing it. Make sure you’re clear about the overall goals of your organisation and that they are guiding the decisions and choices you’re making.
When you decide what to do with ICT you must be able to answer:
- Does this help us achieve our goals? How? If not, why are we doing it?
- Does it save us time or money if we do this? How? If not, why are we doing it?
- Does it help us do new and more valuable things? How? If not, why are we doing it?
Advice and support
- Funding and finance
- Coping with cuts
- Addressing needs
- Managing change
- Planning for the future
- Involving people
- Public Service Delivery
- Governance and leadership
- Compact Advocacy programme
- Campaigning and influencing policy
- Collaborative working
- ICT (information and communication technology)
- Climate change
- People, HR and employment