Another year has passed and the results of this year’s The state Of Digital Leadership in the not-for-profit sector survey are in. Overall, the survey shows a slightly more positive picture than the year before, but a change still too slow to catch up with the challenges and opportunities of today’s market.
While the results of the survey demonstrate that many charities are making some level of investment in Digital and digital roles, there are still some which have no Digital Leads in their organisation.
This could be the consequence of the attitudes towards Digital described in the latest Lloyds UK Digital Index report:
“…over half of all charities do not believe that having a website would help increase their funding and nearly 70% state the same about social media. With the number of charities with basic digital skills falling, in contrast with UK […] market trends, attitudes are of key concern.”
Digital Leads offer charities their best chance of enabling – and sustaining – an urgent and necessary digital transformation. The current slow pace of investment in the existing Digital Leads – to help them influence upwards and guide their organisation through the process of digital transformation – is a concern. With every year that passes without investment in Digital Leads, charities move closer to a point where they will have to make an even more significant (and therefore more painful) leap to change or face a slow death.
In a recent speech, the outgoing Cisco CEO, John Chambers, warned companies that if they don’t change now, they will die in five years time.
“Companies fail because they keep doing the right thing too long,” said Chambers at the annual Cisco Live conference in San Diego. “Disrupt or be disrupted.”
This message has been present in the commercial sector for decades and we have seen some household names (e.g. Kodak) disappearing because they didn’t keep up with the rise of increasingly digital lifestyle and its impact on markets. Charities have escaped this fate for some years but they will not be able to delay the process of making their operations digital for much longer due to the pressures of the market where more personalised and real-time communications are becoming the norm.
Both private and public sectors are growing digital customer services with great success. They are responding and anticipating people’s expectations by trying to fit into lifestyles and needs by focusing their whole businesses on customer experience and customer behaviour. People expect this approach from every brand they communicate to in the digital space. When this doesn’t happen, it impacts on their experience of and loyalty to that brand – whether this is government, company or a charity.