Are You Watching Technology Trends?
I’ve asked around, and it seems that a lot of people receive major reports about new technology trends much like any other piece of media news – mostly indifference, unless the trend is immediately relevant to their life circumstances and it makes a positive impact. Maybe some among these people are “would-be techies” simply guarding themselves from information overload. If so, I can empathize.
I remember back in the early ‘80s when the development and marketing of tech trends for mainstream consumers stretched across a much longer timeline compared to that of today. In other words, thirty years ago most of the public had more time to process and adapt to the latest trends in technology. Nowadays, does even a week pass without major news about developing trends in social media, mobile hardware/software development, or just anything Web related? Not often.
The Times They Are A-Changin’
In 2014, it’s a different world – a radically different world. Emerging tech trends arrive on the scene quickly enough to demand almost constant monitoring in order for us to remain technologically fully informed; hence, my empathy for those aforementioned “would-be techies.”
A portion of those masses comprise people occupying positions within a variety of non-profit organizations such as churches and schools. And some of those people wonder if there’s a clear path of applicable knowledge blazing through the dense and rapidly expanding jungle of technology trends. Perhaps you’re one of those people.
What Your Organization Wants – And Doesn’t Want
I’m convinced that clearer paths through that jungle do exist, and finding your clearer path depends on knowing what your organization wants to accomplish with technology. Listing those “wants” is relatively easy.
Just as important, though, you must know what your organization does not want from technology. Have you ever approached things from that angle? It can complicate the planning and research, but it can save you much time and expense in the long run.
Here’s a simple example: Due to unexpectedly swift growth, there’s a need for your church to ramp up its administration capabilities. You might say, “It’s time to invest in a more robust church or school management software solution. We’ll also expand the number of our administrative staff positions and purchase more equipment in order to run an efficient local area network.”
That’s what you and your organization want to do. At least you think that’s what you want to do. But, think about this…
If your organization had the choice, would it choose to carry the following responsibilities?
- Maintaining and updating the church or school software
- Purchasing and maintaining data servers
- Securing and backing up the data
The choice would likely be to avoid those labors and their associated expenses. These things are among what your organization doesn’t want from technology. After all, your organization carefully budgets time and financial resources as a part of its mission.
Here’s some good news: There is an alternative to your organization shouldering all of its own technology-related overhead.
Where’s that alternative?
It’s in the Clouds
Even if you intentionally stand outside the tech trend information circle, by now you’ve possibly heard the terms “cloud computing” or “the cloud.” If not, here’s a good introduction to the subject. The cloud is one tech trend that I recommend you don’t ignore. It’s here, and chances are you’re already involved anyway. According to senior cloud architect Beth Cohen, “Anyone with a smartphone or a tablet is living on the cloud – whether they know it or not.”1
Okay. But, what does that have to do with performing the multitude of administrative office tasks required in your organization? The answer to that question depends on your organization’s commitment to leveraging technology towards administrative efficiency and effectiveness.
Cloud Technology Is Your Answer
In what practical ways can your organization leverage cloud technology to its benefit?
- Having your organization’s administrative/management software delivered via the internet (which means 24/7 access from any device with a live internet connection).
- Someone else ensuring your software is maintained, backed up, and updated on dependable servers?
- Someone else ensuring your precious data is secure – highly secure.
Most importantly, imagine that “someone else” possessing a thirty-plus-year track record reflecting the highest business integrity and technological competence.
All of those potential benefits for your organization flow from a technology model called SaaS. The term SaaS stands for “Software as a Service.” With the SaaS model, your software is hosted outside of your organization and delivered via the cloud. So, your organization is liberated from all the maintenance concerns associated with multiple desktop software installs and on-site dedicated servers.
ACS Technologies offers a top-notch SaaS solution for your organization. It’s called OnDemand.
That may be the bottom line, but, the discussion isn’t over.
In the upcoming Invitation to OnDemand article, you’ll see what OnDemand means in the “real world,” of everyday administrative work in an organization – the world where you might live day to day.
Jason Dailey is a technical writer for ACS Technologies.