In this final part of the Digital Transformation Series, Jack Waddingham of Sport:80 talks about technology integration and the importance of procuring the right systems for your organisation.
Technology integration is the process of creating an IT infrastructure that connects the functions of your organisation. Implemented correctly, it will see your IT systems seamlessly share information between one another enabling you to improve operational processes and business intelligence as well as help you realise the value of your data.
Imagine it like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. The pieces are the different technologies your organisation relies on, for example, to register members, run events, manage finances, deliver email communications, update your website and so on. If you’re able to find and put together all the right pieces, you’re left with a view of the bigger picture and some very powerful tools to run your organisation.
That said, it’s not an easy thing to achieve and lots of organisation often fail before they’ve started because they attempt to wedge pieces together that don’t fit. Usually this is the result of misconceptions surrounding technology; the belief it ‘just works’ being top of the list. This assumption is a symptom of how intuitive consumer technology has become. We are so used to the devices in our palms doing everything we need with very little flaw. Unfortunately the ‘plug-in-and-play’ rhetoric that accompanies consumer tech rarely applies to business-critical systems.
A mindset that oversimplifies technology is a challenge many organisations in the sport sector will have to overcome, specifically with procuring new systems. In our work, we’ve seen how not tackling this issue leads to sports organisations missing out important details and smaller immediate needs being prioritised over the end-goal. Falling into these traps during a procurement process then leads to specifications or requirements being left open to interpretation, projects being delayed, and the adoption of systems which aren’t future-proofed. Inevitably the systems start to creek and eventually fall down. The procurement cycle is then repeated with the same mistakes being made again.
The ability to achieve the holy grail of technology integration relies on careful planning and research. For many sports organisations this comes into its own when creating a tender or specification documentation. Both require the same thought process to put you in a position to make a well-informed decision about what technologies and providers are the best fit for your organisation.
Given it’s the time of year when tenders and specifications are being drawn up, we thought it would be useful to create a resource that uses some of the knowledge we’ve picked up along the way when sitting on the other side of the table. Below you can download our ‘Tender Prep Checklist’ which includes some useful tips when you’re preparing to procure new technologies.
Download our ‘Tender Prep Checklist’ by clicking here.
As part of this Digital Transformation series we have also created a Digital Maturity Assessment which will help you understand where your organisation is on its digital transformation journey. You will also be able to benchmark your organisation against peers in the sport and recreation sector.
Take your Digital Maturity Assessment by clicking here.