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Why All Association Leaders Need to Think More Like CIOs

Business Technology

We are in the midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and rapid increases in connectivity are redefining how we live, work, and connect with one another. In this increasingly connected digital landscape, organizations will fall behind if they don’t have a plan to keep pace. Association leaders must learn to embrace and better understand technology to ensure members can connect with the organization whenever, wherever, and however they want.

Business leaders need to speak the language of technology

Too frequently, executive leadership is not a part of the process of evaluating and selecting technology. This must change. Instead of always deferring to the IT department or to outside vendors, executives must plug themselves into the process in order to ensure technology is an effective  component of their business processes, which should be the path to achieving mission-related goals in the short and long term. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Is my technology hindering any business processes?
  • Will my technology support my needs in five years?
  • Are my key technology providers innovating?

If your technology solutions aren’t designed to scale and keep pace with the rapid rate of innovation we’re currently seeing, it’s time for a serious evaluation to ensure technology and business processes are in line. Association leadership is the key to helping make this pivot, which is why it’s important they are familiar with technology and make it a core part of their strategic plans.

Technology drives business transformation and growth

Many associations’ technology solutions are disparate and unconnected. With a collection of disconnected point solutions to support business processes, there is typically unnecessary friction between systems – and the connected business processes they support. To avoid this, association executives need to drive and lead the effort to make more strategic choices about their technology with a big picture perspective in mind.

In an increasingly connected world, technology must be seamlessly connected to business operations. Platform solutions, such as Salesforce, have proven themselves as a key first step towards building a unified operational technology base. Rather than reacting to change by adding another disparate point solution, being on a platform allows association to easily and seamlessly add additional solutions without adding operational and data silos. That’s what a strategic choice looks like, and that’s why association leaders need to think more like CIOs.

Get our guide: The 4th Industrial Revolution: A Guide for Association Executives to learn more about how associations are staying ahead of the digital curve.

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