According to findings from the new research report “Engineers for change: Why finance teams must drive the digital agenda,” although the bulk of UK charities understand the role that digital must play in delivering better services and outcomes for charity beneficiaries, most still need to rethink and asses their current digital strategy.
The research also established how finance leaders have a critical role in helping charities advance the pace of digital transformation. Only a minority of finance professionals are currently (43%) involved in digital planning or delivery in their organisations.
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Investment in technology (60%), collaboration across teams (58%) and investment in skills (52%) were found to be the top three factors which are critical to successful digital change.
The research, which reflects the views of over 100 charity finance leaders, found that 59% are successfully implementing a digital strategy while only 10% still have to establish their approach to digital transformation.
Furthermore, 86% of finance professionals acknowledged the need increase the speed of digital change, as well as broadening their scope.
Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of Charity Finance Group, said: “Despite the many competing pressures facing every charity today, it is good to see clear evidence that organisations across the sector are committed to digital transformation.”
“One key message came through our conversations with members: digital transformation is less about the technical demands and more about the leadership skills of the people we employ.”
“We are increasingly seeing that finance professionals are leading on digital and IT because nearly every change a charity faces will have an impact on their risk profile, the business model and sustainability.”
Jude Sheeran, chief executive of Eduserv said: “It is no longer the case that digital technology serves merely to make our organisations more efficient.”
“Across all sectors, digital technology is converging with operations and in doing so, fundamentally changing the way we do business.”
“It is particularly exciting to see that charities are beginning to understand and exploit the opportunities.”