Technology planning is a process that takes time and resources to understand what is appropriate for staff and the organization. Program directors and their management staff can use this resource to further their understanding of the reasons why technology planning is important.
A technology plan can sound like another piece of bureaucracy. Don't be fooled! There is no substitute for thinking through what you need and how you will meet those needs. Technology planning is the process that will help you save money on technology, buy what you need and use technology as a tool to accomplish your organization's mission. Technology planning is the magic ingredient that will help you to:
Obtain funding: Funders will be much more likely to give money for technology if you can show them a technology plan.
Use technology effectively to further your mission: The technology planning process can expand your horizons and help you see new ways in which technology can further your mission.
Buy the right equipment: Purchasing hardware, software, and networking equipment can be overwhelming. If you don't plan, it's easy to end up with something that is way too complicated or doesn't do what you need it to. There's no substitute for thinking through your goals and researching possible solutions.
Save money: You probably do not need the fanciest system on the market. Planning allows you to figure out how to spend less and still meet your needs.
Avoid crises: Bad technology decisions can leave you suffering for years. A faulty system can send your stress level through the roof and make you lose crucial data and capabilities.
Use staff time more effectively: How many hours of staff time have you lost to those niggling technical problems? A technology plan will help you streamline staff use of technology, and put systems in place that will make technology a useful tool for staff, not a stumbling block.
Protect yourself from staff turnover: If the person who knows your technology leaves, what will you do? A technology plan can save you by providing documentation of existing systems, as well as future plans.