DRAFT VISION (AUGUST 2020):
In 2019 Gartner predicted hyperautomation, blockchain, AI security, distributed cloud and autonomous entities as top strategic technology trends. In some cases, COVID may have accelerated adoption, but in others, it will exacerbate a digital divide.
Not unlike how it affects families differently, the digital divide makes winners and losers of community organizations. These organizations are critical entities within our social and economic ecosystems, and should not be left behind.
Whether access to internet or recording transactions on the blockchain is transformational to a particular organization, there is a need to increase technological capacity for public and charitable services. Advocating for their participation in digital transformation addresses a particular imbalance: we are otherwise structurally reinforcing the marginalization of our most vulnerable by disadvantaging those who serve and work with them.
An entity that focuses its energy on technology capacity building for public services and the charitable sectors could be vendor neutral and serve as an honest broker. Some ways it might sustain itself are:
- Facilitate expert panels and/or a peer review model to conduct IT, governance & business process enhancement opportunities analyses, recommending a range of technology and professional services solutions.
- Assess PD gaps and recommend tech-oriented professional development opportunities; deliver where appropriate
- Obtain project sponsorships/discounted pilots from 3rd party vendors to test and implement new technologies
- Apply for grants and private funding opportunities that support digital transformation
- Engage in ongoing awareness and general educational campaigns regarding the impact of the digital divide on local public services and the charitable sector.
We are looking for ideas and feedback on this proposition. It would be arrogant to think that one new organization could solve the ongoing problems of so many. However, a concerted effort by like-minded individuals, supported by community clients and partners, could help close the gap.
Kelly O’Neill – President
Perry Kinkaide – Secretary