What technology is best? How can I get the most out of my software solution? If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions – you’re not alone. As an account executive for foundation management technology solutions at MicroEdge + Blackbaud, I get asked these questions a lot.
These sorts of decisions should never be made lightly since the infrastructure of today will be a major determining factor for your organization’s impact over the next several years. So, before you get into features and functionality, the first step is understanding what is driving your organization’s need. My advice is to think critically about what you want to achieve.
Before you get into the nitty-gritty checklist of features and functionality, consider these 4 things:
Customize vs Configure
A customizable solution is generally difficult, costly, and time-consuming to implement. More than likely, this type of solution will also require significant IT support resulting in a higher total cost of ownership. And because of this, customizable solutions are updated less frequently, making it difficult to keep up with the latest in technological advancements.
A configurable solution, on the other hand, allows organizations to tailor their system to address their unique needs. This type of solution is much easier to use and support, implement, and requires little IT support, allowing for organization’s to keep technology cutting-edge.
What is the timeline for implementation? Can the solution be implemented in as few as 30 days? These are questions you should ask before any new purchases. Be sure to articulate your expectations so you’re up and running in no time.
With the right technology, you have the power to connect with the philanthropic community like never before. You need to be able to reach across the sector to share best practices, spread information, and work alongside your peers in making the world a better place. Assess the ways your technology can help you collaborate and connect to the giving community. And ask your provider about learning opportunities and demos to effectively and efficiently utilize your technology.
Keeping your data safe and secure is of the utmost importance. Make sure your software and solution provider adheres to the most rigorous data compliance standards to ensure that your data is safeguarded by the most up-to-date and widely accepted data protection criteria.
Want to learn more about software considerations? Check out the MicroEdge + Blackbaud resource hub, including: Customized vs. Configurable Software Solutions: Which Should You Choose?