Digital Ecosystems

Your strategy isn’t just about publishing content. It’s about how all your digital platforms and tools work together to increase your team’s efficiency, improve planning, and ultimately reach your digital objectives.

The technologies that you use to manage your digital strategy — from your website content, to your internal ticketing system or contact database — are more than individual tools. They comprise your digital ecosystem that, if approached as a whole, can be one of the most effective ways to attain your goals.

Why should you care about digital ecosystems?

With so many tools at our disposal, we don’t naturally consider how they might work together. How does your Twitter feed relate to your JIRA ticketing system and Dropbox media files? How does your Instagram account contribute to your CRM system? Approaching all the tools in your digital ecosystem as a collective, rather than individual strategic activities, allows you to better align them with your overall end goals, whether that’s to increase donations or encourage supporters to sign petitions.

What’s in a digital ecosystem?

Beyond tools and platforms, such as those just mentioned, a digital ecosystem is also made up of the practices and people you interact with every day. Practically speaking, digital ecosystem tools can fit into the following categories:

  • Public Platforms: websites, social media channels, mobile applications
  • Engagement Tools: CRM, email marketing, advocacy, and donor management tools
  • Knowledge Management Platforms: intranets, wikis, communities of practice
  • Project Management Tools: Agile development tools, issue tracking, task management
  • Collaboration Tools: email, messaging, video chat,  file sharing
  • Research Applications: data visualization, data storage, resource libraries, archives

How do you get your digital ecosystem to work for you?

The best place to start is by conducting a digital ecosystem audit. The main questions you want to address are:

  • How are your current tools supporting your vision? Are your tools aligned to provide a consistent brand experience and unified voice?
  • How does information flow throughout your organization? How can your digital ecosystem better support your organization’s workflows and operations?
  • How does your team collaborate within your digital ecosystem? Who has access to what? What can they do? And how can they do it more efficiently and effectively?
  • How are your tools managed?  Is there a governance model in place to support it? Do you have a roadmap for the future or the ability to address emerging needs?

Answering these questions will give you the big picture. It will help you make informed decisions about the future of your organization and the tools that connect it. You’ll be equipped to manage your organization’s brand, voice, and messaging across all your connected tools. You’ll be able to identify efficiencies that result in increased productivity, improved collaboration, enhanced quality, and often cost-saving from lower total licensing fees. An audit will empower your organization to design, implement, and manage your digital ecosystem — one that aligns with your organization and supports your goals, operations, and vision to change the world.

Further reading

Interested in conducting a digital ecosystem audit?

Take a step back, and allow Forum One to help make sure you are approaching all the elements of your ecosystem from a collective viewpoint. Get in touch today!