Presenter: Jon Edmiston, Director of IT and Communications at Christ’s Church of the Valley.
- More time on solutions, less on infrastructure.
- Unlike corporate IT, we can focus just on the customer (congregants). Few mission-critical applications.
- Membership system is the core application.
- Member data must drive the website.
- Single platforms trump disparate but integrated solutions (best in class)
- Your membership system is only as good as the data quality
- Skills you should have: reporting, scripting, statistics, graphical design
- Key technologies: geographical information systems, data analysis tools, data visualization tools, unified messaging, social networking, mobile technologies
- Strategic prioritization: plan ahead, start with solutions not infrastructure
- Don’t seek staff approval – it limits our impact to the ministry. Staff service is critical but not at the expense of impacting the congregation through technology.
- Infrastructure should be simple. Don’t overkill the reliability. Stay away from the bleeding edge of infrastructure unless it directly provides the solution (e.g. Asterisk). New technologies that save $ rarely do.
- Be aware of opportunity cost.
- Let big ideas stew. (This is Jon’s variation of my "discernment stew" idea. Can’t believe I’ve never posted on that.)
- MapPoint is incredible.
- Integrating multiple, best-in-class systems vs. a single, integrated solution is a classic IT tradeoff that’s been around for at least 15 years. I didn’t see any special insight in Jon’s view on that.
- Of course, our default answer is "yes". Enough said.