External Analysis: Technological

In early 2016, arts organisations around Victoria will be working on their submissions to the 2016 Creative Victoria Organisation Investment Program. This is the final in a series of posts in which Regional Arts Victoria will be sharing some of the work we’ve done to prepare us for our own submission, published in the hope that it will of use to others in the sector. 

Arts organisations don’t exist in isolation, and neither should your Strategic Plan. A useful exercise in scanning your environment is to brainstorm with your team on what Political, Economic, Social and Technical developments or trends might impact on you in the life of your Strategic Plan.

These terms don’t need to be organised too rigidly; they can be used simply to guide your thinking when considering the big wide world outside. At Regional Arts Victoria, we wrote a short post under each heading for our team to read through before our Strategic Planning brainstorm sessions. Below is the fourth and final of these, under the heading ‘Technological.’

 

MWF GFAD Digger 1 AF

Melbourne Writers Festival’s Gallery for a Day on its Regional Arts Victoria tour

 

Technological

Kids today don’t know how lucky they’ve got it, what with all the phones and computers and Netflix and cronuts. Besides yelling at clouds, though, there is much for us to consider both on the opportunity and threat side of the ledger when it comes to technology.

The eagerly anticipated rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) continues in 2016, which will increase the access and speed of internet services to communities across the country. This is particularly exciting for those regional communities who are due to come online from April 2016.

Even without access to NBN services, many businesses are taking advantage of offerings available in cloud computing software, allowing more people to access resources and information wherever they are. For most, it is not a question of if but when they move to the cloud, and what security implications this might have.

We’re more addicted than ever to our smart phones, spending an average of 10 hours and 24 minutes engaging with internet-connected devices every day. It is not surprising when considering this statistic that Alphabet (owner of Google) became the largest listed company in the world in 2015.

As well as 88% of the population being internet users, there are 14 million people with active social media accounts in Australia, and a quarter of these users access their social media profiles more than five times a day. Organisations with social media accounts, however, continue to misuse them, including posting offensive material or losing their hashtags to spam or abuse.

How we promote our work is changing beyond just the uptake of social media. Automation of marketing, the use of ‘big data’ and content marketing are all like to play a bigger role in how audiences are reached from 2016.

Beyond just marketing and communication of work, there are numerous examples of artists and organisations are harnessing technology to create art. As more users embrace this approach, organisations will need to ensure they stay up-to-date with emerging trends and expectations.

Used well, new technologies can improve the way we communicate with artists, members and audiences. They can reduce the large physical distances between us (particularly relevant for national touring companies like Regional Arts Victoria), and compliment the face-to-face contact which is central to our work in the creative sector.

 

Further Reading:

Francis, H., 2016, ‘Ten cool facts about NBN’s forthcoming Sky Muster satellite service’, The Sydney Morning Herald.

Lee, T, 2015, ‘The NFP Marketing Trends to Watch in 2016’, Pro-Bono Australia.

The Guardian, 2016, ‘Arts, culture, creativity and tech: key trends for 2016,’ The Guardian.

van der Merwe, D., 2016, ‘The top digital trends expected to influence the next generation’, AdNews.

 

We don’t pretend to be the sole authorities on arts organisation governance. This post should help start discussions, not end them. Disagree with what we’ve said? Want to add some wisdom of your own? Great! Please post your contributions in the comments section below.