People with purpose: taming the technology tiger

Posted on 02 Sep 2023

By Greg Thom, journalist, Institute of Community Directors Australia

KH 121 IX Office Launch 270423

After more than two decades helping not-for-profits navigate the rapidly changing world of digital technology, Infoxchange Marcus Harvey is as passionate as ever about tech for social justice.

How would you describe your role at Infoxchange?

I have an amazing role at Infoxchange, helping not-for-profits of all sizes find ways to use digital technologies more effectively and undertake a digital transformation.

How long have you worked in the not-for-profit sector?

I’ve been involved in the NFP sector for more than 20 years, originally volunteering for Therapeutic Guidelines, helping to digitise their processes and provide independent, evidence-based, practical treatment advice to practitioners at the point of care.

How did you become involved?

Since those early days, I’ve been fortunate to work with an amazing range of not-for-profits, predominately in Australia but also on the ground in New Zealand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bangladesh.

I love getting involved and helping to solve local challenges, whether they be problematic internet connections, limited funds or finding access to appropriately skilled staff.

Today I’m focused on helping non-profits make the most of their limited funds to help even more people by leveraging digital technology, focusing on areas such as cloud collaboration environments, data capture and analysis, and cybersecurity.

Marcus Harvey
Marcus Harvey, Manager, Digital Transformation Hub.

How important is it for NFP organisations to keep up with the latest technology trends?

The big trends at the moment are artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, digital transformation, and leveraging data to enable evidenced-based decisions and enhanced impact.

AI can help organisations generate impactful content more efficiently and make better decisions.

Cybersecurity is a critical consideration for many not-for-profits, as threats have increased and many haven’t been paying enough attention to the issue – particularly considering the sensitivity of their data. Implementing key protections doesn’t have to be expensive.

We’re also seeing more organisation commencing their digital transformation journey, leveraging technology to streamline processes, empower staff and support their clients in new and more effective ways.

Using good data is also becoming essential to non-profit operations – to support staff in providing the best possible support for clients, to provide information to management for evidence-based resourcing and impact decisions, and to demonstrate outcomes to funders.

However, one of the biggest challenges in the NFP digital space is remembering that it is easy to attempt too much.

It’s better to pick one or two initiatives and deliver them successfully than chase every technology trend.

The Infoxchange Digital Transformation Hub team helps not-for-profits with exactly this challenge – exploring which tech trends offer value to an organisation (and what they should ignore) and identifying how they can best take advantage of the opportunity.

We love seeing organisations leave the Hub with a clear picture of how to leverage digital technology more effectively, in a way that is affordable for them and can make a real difference to their staff and clients.

Marcus Harvey in action
Marcus Harvey in full flight talking about digital transformation.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give NFPs when it comes to technology?

Make the most of NFP discounts and services to develop a practical digital technology plan which enables your staff to deliver better services without costing the earth. This should involve:

  • leveraging the Microsoft (365 and Azure), Google (Ads, Workspace, YouTube), discount hardware and other NFP deals available through Connecting Up
  • making the most of your NFP collaboration platform (Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace) so that staff have a consistent, intuitive platform that enables them to work remotely, keep information secure and collaborate effectively
  • making the most of the system you use to deliver your services. Ensure it enables staff appropriately and allows you to understand your impact. If you haven’t got the right system, plan to change this.

And one last thing: Don’t hesitate to book a digital expert for specialist NFP technology advice.

More information

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