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ICT and Information systems

You know that your computer systems matter to your organisation, but you’re not a technical person.  How do you know what CRM system to buy?  How do you decide whether the benefits of moving to the cloud outweigh the risks?  How do you even know if you’re asking the right questions?

One of my key skills for over 30 years has been explaining technical matters – and computer systems in particular – in ways that make sense to decision-makers.  Along the way I have become skilled at engaging users and seeing the big picture, as well as getting to grips with the fine technical details. 

Because of my Data Protection work I am particularly interested in databases and contact management (CRM) systems.

Some of the ways I have helped voluntary organisations:

Getting new CRM systems

  • Working as one of two external consultants on a team to develop a large case management system for a consortium of organisations.  This involved a range of tasks from working with users to ensure that the eventual system would meet their needs to designing the detailed behaviour of several parts of the system.
  • Drawing up a specification for a new database to hold details of an organisation's service users and to record the service they are receiving, then helping the organisation to select a supplier to deliver it.

Improving existing systems

  • Examining information flows within an organisation and how technology could best support the right information getting to the right people.
  • Reviewing the communications options for an international organisation.

The business side

  • Reporting on the business case for setting up an ICT support service in a large rural area.
  • Helping an organisation to decide on the appropriate salary level for their IT manager.
  • Examining the IT systems of two organisations that were considering a merger, to look at the issues that this might raise.

Evaluating ICT-related services

  • Evaluating the multi-million pound national ICT Hub from 2005 to 2008.  (See the final report)
  • Evaluating services aimed at improving the access to IT of people with disabilities.