Stabilizing and modernizing technology systems contributes to nonprofit’s mission
The Arc Central Chesapeake Region is a community-based organization advocating for and serving children and adults with intellectual disabilities and their families. Focused on their mission, The Arc aims to promote respect, create opportunities, and advocate for equal rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Because of the organization’s focus on this critical mission, technology investments were not a top priority, and without strategic IT leadership, The Arc lacked mature process, standards, and governance around technology.
The Arc engaged Hartman Executive Advisors to assess, stabilize, modernize and enhance their processes, infrastructure and systems. The assessment provided the foundational roadmap to establish fundamental solutions so that the staff could do their jobs without constantly running into technology roadblocks. In the beginning stages of the assessment of the organization’s people, processes and existing systems, Hartman identified an immediate need to establish a back-up system for their stored financial data. When the Arc experienced a ransomware attack that held their data hostage, not only were they able to ignore the threat, but they were also able to resume operations right away with no impact to the population of individuals that rely on their services.
Through the assessment, Hartman began executing a plan that would begin necessary updates to the organizational structure, process, software and infrastructure before developing a strategic plan aligned with the Arc’s desired outcomes. By reviewing the Arc’s strategic partnerships, Hartman learned about two software purchases – one for managing one of the largest programs and one for managing medication administration – that were going unused, either stuck in the piloting stage or paused indefinitely. Hartman, who has no vendor affiliations, evaluated both systems to determine if they were best suited for the organization’s purposes. One was determined to be the right fit, and Hartman worked with department partners at The Arc to develop an implementation plan that would resonate with all users. The other system was replaced, saving the Arc from an expensive software program that would not deliver the optimal return on investment. Hartman also vetted options for an external help desk, a feature that would provide stability to the organization, and brought on a vendor to provide that additional support. Hartman provided leadership and IT operational support to the vendor so that they could implement new systems for remote access, file and directory services, threat management, and back-up management. In the first five months of the year, the Arc closed 548 tickets and maintained a 100 percent server availability and 100 percent uptime and Internet connectivity.
Hartman worked closely with leadership at The Arc to develop a technology strategy that aligned with the organization’s overall goals, value and culture. One of the goals was to empower program leaders to own their processes, goals, budgets and data; a significant change, as they had not previously experienced that level of ownership. Hartman and the Arc implemented new systems to manage finances, budgets, vehicle fleets and people, each with an internal leader, thereby empowering these leaders to own application functionality and roadmaps. It also provided the opportunity for them to understand how technology aligned with their goals and objectives and serve as internal champions for strategic IT initiatives.
Hartman empowered us to take ownership of technology decisions in our departments by providing standard processes and tools needed to modernize our organization and work toward future growth.
–Angie DeMoreland, Director of Executive Services
As The Arc continues to move forward with technology strategy to fulfill their mission, Hartman functions as the organization’s IT Director and serves on the senior management team. As a strategic partner and trusted advisor, Hartman also provides updates to the CEO for reporting to the board on the importance of sophisticated technology solutions to improve advocacy, development efforts, and staff and constituent communication.
We invest in our partnership with Hartman, to bring the IT strategic leadership needed to support our long-term strategic plan. We view Hartman as an extension of our leadership team, and we expect and value their input to our strategic planning processes.
-Jonathon Rondeau, CEO