Like so many colleges and universities, my former employer took advantage of Google’s free suite of productivity apps, including email. When the college transitioned away from self-hosted email and various Microsoft solutions, many users found themselves fearful of Gmail’s web-based interface. They sought the familiar comfort of Microsoft Outlook to manage emails and calendars.
Let’s be honest: the idea of learning new systems and adopting new processes can be overwhelming, especially for enterprises with limited resources. When huge projects land on our desks, it’s tempting to roll our eyes and face the inevitable fact that the next few weeks will be unpleasant. The path of least resistance for most of us involves polishing up old work, updating financial figures and tweaking some language.
But sometimes our reluctance to challenge ourselves can unravel organizational productivity.
In January 2014, Georgia College assessed its communications infrastructure and quickly concluded an update was needed. At the time, employees and students had difficulty locating critical information quickly, and administrators at the public liberal arts college instructed its communications team to confront the outdated, overloaded and inefficient system.
Brittiny Johnson, Georgia College’s media relations manager, was part of the redesign process. Along with a small team of communications professionals and IT experts, Johnson helped develop a new university-wide communications hub powered by Drupal, an open-source content management system.
As non-profits of all sizes begin shifting their focus toward digital content marketing and online advertising, it’s no wonder that online giving continues to define this evolving landscape. As Blackbaud reports, online charitable giving is on the rise and there’s no end in sight. Organizations that once leaned on an older, more affluent donor base to fund their interests are grappling with new methods to attract younger donors who prefer online philanthropic experiences.
Not long ago, commercial IT solutions dominated the higher education enterprise. But a rise in high quality open source solutions is turning the tides on traditional models.
The term “open source” generally refers to computer software that uses public source code. In other words, the authors of open source projects acknowledge that their work may be researched, analyzed, distributed and changed by anyone. The Open Source Initiative offers a more detailed definition, including 10 requirements that must be fulfilled for certify that work is truly open source.