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Tech Strategies for Associations

Associations are missing the boat if they think of the IT department as overhead. We learned how associations are making tech a bigger part of their mission at last week's Tech Strategies for Associations event at 1776-Crystal City.

Tech Strategies for Associations

National Restaurant Association CIO Ed Beck (above) says associations have to mobile enable everything. (Thank Amazon and Apple for that.) So associations can’t just take their website content and move it to a mobile device; the experience has to be altered, says HighRoad Solutions CEO Ron McCrath. Since more employees are bringing their own devices to work, organizations also need to figure out their mobile device management strategy, said American Council on Education CIO Kara Freeman.

Tech Strategies for Associations

American Society of Association Executives CIO Reggie Henry, who helped moderate the discussion, says an informal survey of 100 association colleagues revealed that 85 had been hacked. Therefore, associations have to be prepared to answers questions from their board on security. Kara says ACE's board members have started asking about passwords and what the organization is doing to create a culture of security. ACE launched a security awareness program to make sure the whole staff was educated. Ed says more associations are designating a chief security person.

Tech Strategies for Associations

Fonteva CEO Jerry Huskins (with the mic) says the question he gets asked most by his nonprofit clients is around security and whether data is safe in the cloud. Associations and nonprofits are also looking at how they can organize data more effectively, especially if they have data spread across different apps. Jerry adds that his best clients are the ones focused on innovation and allowing departments to work on making better use of data they're collecting. Ron (right) says his IT firm is seeing associations and nonprofits expanding their marketing channels beyond email and using more tools like social media and blogging to reach members.

Tech Strategies for Associations

Delcor CEO Dave Coriale (with mic) says associations need to also make value proposition and customer experience top priorities when using technology for better interaction with members. An event app won't save the organization’s event if it's not delivering value. It needs to deliver information at the moment of need, Dave added. Kara (right) says her association has a three-year rolling tech road map that’s used to look at how IT is fitting into the strategic priority of the organization.