Nowadays, the balanced and healthy use of digital technology poses a challenge for the whole society. A Slovenian nonprofit Zavod Nora (LOGOUT)’s mission is to improve digital well-being of young people and raise awareness of the balanced and healthy use of media and technology. Our Slovenian partner – Youth Information and Counseling Center in Slovenia (MISSS) spoke with Mr. Boris Veler, Zavod Nora’s CEO, about the digital transformation of his organisation and its impact on the organisation’s workflow.
Matjaz Medvesek (MM), TechSoup Slovenia: So, how did it start? Why did you decide to undergo digital transformation?
Boris Veler (BV), Zavod Nora CEO: Due to my personal experience with digital marketing and cooperation with different organisations in the field of digital transformation, we started to use digital tech as support to our work as well as to promote sustainability and achieve better cost-efficiency. Our work is organised in four different locations across the country, so teleworking has become a necessity.
MM: Can you tell us how this process looked? What were the steps you made and who was involved in the process?
BV: I could divide this process into four main steps:
- research of tools and methods
- choosing the best tools based on user experience, copyrights, and team and needs criteria
MM: Sounds easy 😉 Can you tell me more about the selection of tools? Did you use any external help at this point?
BV: Yes, we were supported by external experts who proposed a few different solutions. The choice followed two directions: already existing services chosen based on a few criteria: open source solutions, user-friendly tools, and affordable for NGOs. Secondly, we were ready for the development of our own solutions, tailored to our needs and our capabilities.
Later, our leaders chose a few tools to be tested by the team. And finally, we implemented the best ones.
MM: Which technologies did you start to use?
BV: We started to use Zoom. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it helped us a lot to move to remote work and organise many conferences.
We also implemented Google solutions for file sharing. However, later we developed our own tools.
As for operations, we improved our internal communication and HR management by recording working time. It’s less administration and paperwork.
MM: You say less administration and paperwork. Can you name any other benefits for employees or beneficiaries?
BV: Sure! Let me name a few:
- Better time management and efficient decision making
- Less stress among employees (memorizing tasks, quick access to information…)
- Better visibility as we are living in virtual communities, digital environment…
- Efficient use of time as a major financial benefit
- Easier access to funds, tax relief, and donations
MM: Sounds fantastic. But now, it’s high time for difficult moments! Tell us something about the difficulties you faced during the process of digital transformation.
BV: Actually, I can’t remember any… But it is important to be aware that technology itself is not enough. Still, in the first place it is a human (and team) who uses it. It takes a long time to make changes and present the benefits. Employees, of course, need to accept a new “culture of working process” as something that will benefit them in the long run.
Funds are also needed for a quality transformation, which sometimes slows down the process. The reasons are: purchase of equipment, hiring of experts…but that sometimes also enables us to have enough time needed to think and choose the appropriate solution.
MM: Any other recommendations to NGOs that would like to start their digital transformation journey?
BV: Registration with TechSoup significantly helps NGOs in deciding on the use of technologies, transition to digital transformation, ordering software, online services, and also in purchase of hardware. We hope that more donors and donations will be available in the future.
MM: Time for the last question: is it done?
BV: Oh no, digital transformation is an ongoing process. We have more plans: the development of document sign systems, from the point of ensuring security and privacy of data, the introduction of e-signature, and the development of new evaluation tools.
MM: Good luck and thank you for this conversation.
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