CFDG Calls for Charities to Radically Rethink Their Approach to IT

18th March 2004

This year's CFDG IT Conference, to take place on 22 April 2004 in London, is calling for charity executives to go back to basics and rethink their whole approach to IT.

Keynote speaker Professor Clive Holtham from CASS business school will reflect the conference theme in his presentation The Future of Technology - Intelligent Exploitation? He will argue that although modern business computing was introduced in 1951 by 1955 most of the mistakes in implementing new technology were known. Despite this we still keep on repeating the same mistakes when developing IT systems. Private sector failure in IT sometimes derives from having too much money available. Can the charity sector avoid this problem? Clive will go on and highlight that the skills of managers are crucial; the key is often not the technology itself but losing sight of basics, Clive will call for charities to see IT "as a key aspect of innovation and of integration" and as "one component of a big picture".

The conference will take time to explore the real benefits technology can offer the sector and how to get value for money from any IT related investment.

Over a hundred of the Finance and IT chiefs of the UK's largest charities are expected to attend what has become the leading IT conference for the sector. Other speakers include Bruno Mattarollo, Head of IT at Greenpeace International, Netherlands who will be talking about the implementation of open source solutions and David Clayden, Director of Strategic Information at the Salvation Army who will be taking a look at web strategies for the not-for-profit sector.

The conference will be chaired by John Tate, CFDG's IT Advisor and is being sponsored by IT Services Group Touchstone and Accountants Chantrey Vellacott DFK.

Notes to the Editor:

The Charity Finance Directors' Group was set up in 1987 and is an umbrella group that specialises in helping charities to manage their finance-related functions. CFDG's 1,000 plus members are responsible for the finances and IT 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.

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