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Maxsum at Connecting Up 2018: Technology and the NFP Sector

Maxsum at Connecting Up 2018: Technology and the NFP Sector

The Connecting Up 2018 Conference opened with Sue Vardon, AO Chair of Connecting Up recounting two startling statistics to the room.

“46% of community organisations say their IT systems don’t work for them.”

And, “80% of small- to medium-sized community organisations have no IT plan and limited capacity to capture and leverage their data.”

There can be no doubt of the appropriateness of the theme of this year’s Connecting Up 2018 Conference & Expo. “Digital Flightpaths” was about unpacking the power of technology for not-for-profit organisations.

This is a theme that aligns closely with our mission at Maxsum- Enabling Opportunity & Realising Potential, and our Vision to remove the boundaries by business growth by having a seat-at-the-table in the organisations we support and service.

We were proud to support our not-for-profit partners and the sector as a sponsor and exhibitor at the 2018 Conference.

Our involvement in the 2018 event also gave us the opportunity to listen to, contribute, and engage around what’s happening in Australia’s NFP sector, especially around how technology is shaping new data, governance, cloud and service trends across the sector as a whole.

The Economic Update

The two main conference days opened an excellent market update delivered by David Robertson of the Bendigo Bank. Whilst offering the gathered NFP sector leaders in the room a cautiously optimistic snapshot of the future direction of the Australian economy he offered his predictions of where the digital economy is headed. From a technology perspective he directed the sector to not be blindsided by the ups and downs of cryptocurrencies, but to focus on the potential of block chain technology and its much broader application beyond currency as a digital economy enabler and game-changer.

The Humanitarian Perspective

The opening key note was delivery the visionary Tim Costello of World Vision. The depth and breadth of his engagement in the sector, his humanitarian vision, his philosophical viewpoints and his snapshot of how technology is changing not only the NFP sector but humanity at large was thought-provoking and enlightening in equal measure and set a fantastic foundation for the two days of content.

He stressed the importance of working to “lift the gaze of the digital generation to connect people with purpose” and to foster trust, values, ethics, adaptability, assistance and empathy in our digital connectedness in order to redefine our sense of community.

The Data Governance Insights

A real highlight of the keynote agenda though was Lucy Bernholz of the Stanford centre on Philanthropy and Civil Society. Lucy brought an entirely new perspective to what it means to go “digital”. She explained that the data we produce and collect today is like steam vapour that has been set free from its solid and liquid states. And yet, we are still trying to contain this ubiquitous data, now transformed into its digital vapour form, using the “glass” technology designed to hold data when it still existed in water form. A great analogy that really gave meaning to the magnitude of the data organisations deal with today and the challenges in lawfully managing and using that data.

Key takeaways from Lucy’s presentation were the standout themes:

  • Get the data to answer your question but don’t go collecting data unless you know precisely the question you’re asking;
  • Don’t collect what you can’t protect!
  • The discomfort you feel when you think your own data might be compromised is the level of sensitivity you must apply to clients’ data you hold.

Digital Technologies, Cloud and Office 365 Directions

The line-up of keynotes over the two days brought together some outstanding content that covered disruption, cloud computing, storytelling, digital marketing, digital finance, grants and sponsorship tools.

Those looking to get a step ahead in their digital journey though would have been paying particular attention to Microsoft’s presentation on digital disruption in the community sector as well as the Office365 tips and tricks presentation content giving NFPs the inside track on how to better use the features in the Office365 suite and what’s to come in Office365 including:

  • Skype for Business telephony launch in Australia in 2018 and become more integrated into Teams
  • Recently launched ‘files on demand’ One Drive sync tool and the modern experience for SharePoint continuing to improve.
  • Continued introduction of new apps such as Business centre apps including bookings and invoicing for business premiums plans
  • Maturing and integration of existing products such as Teams, PowerApps, Flow and Forms to become more common and easier to use for NFPs.
  • New subscription-based licensing model through IT vendors (CSP) including recent pricing changes and limitations of the donation program through Connecting Up
  • Security and compliance will become easier and more common such as two-factor authentication and mobile device management.

The 2018 Connecting Up Technology Awards

For the Maxsum team, a real highlight of this year’s event was the Technology Awards dinner. In the 2018 awards program Maxsum sponsored the prize for the Not-For-Profit Technology Lifetime Service Award, which Maxsum’s Joe Ciancio had the honour of presenting to Dr Dimity Dornan, AO of Head and Say for the her lifetime’s work in assisting thousands of families by ensuring that deaf children are able to reach their full potential. Congratulations again Dr Dornan, for your amazing work and for guiding your organisation in its mission.

To read more about Maxsum’s engagement in the Not-for-Profit sector: Disruption, Technology and the NFP Sector.

PLUS – download our free guide to The NFP and Business Technology Partnership by Maxsum Consulting 2018: Do More, Achieve More and Deliver Better Outcomes


Joe Ciancio - Maxsum Consulting Managing Director
Joe Ciancio - Managing Director

How we can help?

To find out how Maxsum can unpack the power of technology for your organisation through cloud computing, strategic technology planning, and managed IT services, get in touch with us today at 1300 MAXSUM.