CFDG promotes strategic shift towards adequate IT solutions

28th April 2004

The biggest ever CFDG IT conference on 22 April 2004 brought together over 120 senior IT and Finance executives who discussed the future of technology in the sector.

Delegates spent the day exploring the strategic opportunities IT offers the sector and the barriers to managing IT effectively. A survey carried out on the day proved that less than a third of charities has a Board member who specifically champions IT in their organization on a strategic level and it was estimated that less than half have IT expertise on their senior management team. Keynote speaker Professor Clive Holtham from Cass Business School introduced the concept of 'non-fast' technology to delegates - recognising that it takes time to get IT right. He argued that smaller budgets than in the corporate sector may encourage the charity sector to develop well-thought-through "adequate" solutions and IT systems rather than over elaborate solutions that do not work in practice.

CFDG Deputy Chief Executive David Membrey says "CFDG is very excited that this new format for our IT conference has been so successful and we could more than double delegate numbers and really start a dialogue with the sector. CFDG sees IT as an essential tool for the finance professional, but also as a means to deliver real strategic benefit. CFDG will be developing a series of IT events for later 2004. We want to expand the platform we created with this conference, on which members and non-members alike can discuss their IT requirements, be creative and get new ideas for the IT development in their organisations."

The conference was supported by IT Services Group Touchstone and Accountants Chantrey Vellacott DFK.

Notes to the Editor:

1. The Charity Finance Directors' Group was set up in 1987 and is the membership organisation that specialises in helping charities to manage their finance-related functions. CFDG's 1,000 plus members are responsible for the finances of charities with a wide variety of income levels. Over 60% of the top 500 charities are members of the CFDG. Between them, our members manage some £10 billion in charity income per year.

2. CFDG has supported a new survey by sector magazine Charity Finance which shows that in organisations with over 25 staff it is usually the Finance Director who holds responsibility for IT. This finding underlines the importance of IT issues to the CFDG membership.

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