Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – October 2014

ACHIEVA on Bingham Street in PittsburghThis month, we are grateful to Steve and Nicole from ACHIEVA for hosting us in their comfortable board room!  We will be back at ACHIEVA next month, when Steve will be giving us a Google Apps demonstration.

(Oh, and I know you’re all tired of hearing me say this – but don’t forget to register for TechNow if you haven’t done so already!  🙂

Here are the notes from this month’s meeting.

iOS 8 Upgrade

  • iOS 8 on older devices
  • Battery issue
  • 5s already has issues with battery on some models
  • Takes ~ 5GB of memory
  • Keeping some app updates from installing (want iOS update 1st)
  • iCloud
  • Pay if more than 5 GB
  • Choose what to backup via iTunes

Cell Phone, Providers and BYOD

  • Most orgs that provide phones to staff standardize & give out one kind of phone
  • Some do BYOD & put on network
  • BYOD policies (could also put in regular acceptable use)
  • Lookout security app – backs up device & takes photo of person if tries to unlock more than 3 times (phone and iPad)
  • Need to put in policy if require that type of app for employees
  • Verizon – recently came down in pricing but have to ask

Windows 10

The Future of Technology

  • Talked about pace of change in tech, last 15 years
  • Minority Report movie has cool tech that we might see in real life someday (also check out the 2012 version of Total Recall)

Learning Management Systems

  • Websites & internet access generally required for learning (K-12 and higher ed)
  • Electronic textbooks as a standard would be great
  • Blackboard is still in use
  • Google has an app called Google Classroom
  • Moodle
  • Aquos Board (Sharp product – Wilson Group may have info at TechNow)
  • Possible SMARTboard uses
    • Notes
    • Annotations
    • Skyping (if camera)

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Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – May 2014

Haller House on the Frick campus

Haller House at the Frick Art & Historical Center.

This month was our final meeting at the Frick Art & Historical Center this year.  Thank you once again to Linda and the Frick staff for hosting us! Join us next month for Bagels & Bytes on a Boat, located on the RiverQuest boat Explorer near the Carnegie Science Center!

Here are the meeting notes for May:

For the Reading List

Social Media

  • What is the shelf-life of a social media channel?
  • As long as the company is making money, will probably stick around.
  • Look at what teens are using to see what’s up-and-coming

Zero Day Vulnerability

  • Discussion about which orgs have applied the IE patch to date.
  • Most are communicating instructions to staff via email.
  • Also need to deal with the Windows XP security patch, which we suspect many orgs are still using, including government entities.
  • Can probably keep using XP machines if stay unconnected from the Internet.
  • Several people reported having good experiences with upgrading older PCs from XP to 7.

Hosted Raiser’s Edge

  • Costs extra for this version, but is nice to have Blackbaud worry about data backups, security, etc.
  • It is good to have a redundant Internet connection (multiple ISPs), particularly if using a lot of apps in the cloud.

Phone Service/ISP Providers

If you could tell your board anything about technology at nonprofit, what would you say?

  • Even though technology isn’t splashy (doesn’t get your org’s name in the paper), it’s still important and it needs to be funded, even if it’s not causing problems.
  • Need to make the investment in infrastructure.
  • Tech touches every piece of what every staff member is doing – it’s critical.
  • You can’t assume it’s working well just because it appears to be working.
  • Tech isn’t like a utility – you can’t flip a switch and it magically works.
  • Technology evolves. An org has to stay on top of it, keep evolving with it and investing in it.
  • The board shouldn’t micromanage the tech function.
  • The board should/could look at technology investing as part of its legacy to the org.
  • Board members can be champions for technology – advocating for it.
  • Techies push the wave, need to be the board thinking about tech.
  • Organizations should have a technology committee.
  • Have to find balance between budget oversight and over-scrutiny.
  • Reporting tech-related outcomes to the board at least once per year might be beneficial.
  • Sometimes tech staff sees something that could be done with existing tech, but needs backup / tech plan / support from the E.D. and board.
  • Tech should be given a seat at the table, not be housed under the CFO or finance department.
  • An organization can have the grandest program ideas in the world but still need tech infrastructure to make anything work.
  • An org can never sit still with technology – it evolves too quickly. Orgs constantly have to be scanning and looking ahead.
  • Best to chip away a little each year at tech needs and projects, rather than let them pile up and overwhelm the org and its budget.
  • Never assume that your org is “done” with tech.
  • IT has to be allowed to take risks in order to move the organization forward.  Failures can sometimes happen and boards can be risk-averse, but risk is part and parcel of IT otherwise stagnation can result.
  • An org should never do tech for its own sake.  Always look at the business needs first.