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Arts & I.T. : Technology Adoption and Implementation in Arts Organizations

January 27, 201227 January 2012

Cultural facilities / infrastructure

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This survey of 466 North American arts organizations from a range of disciplines, including over 100 Canadian respondents, examines how the organizations use, implement and plan for technology. Overall, responding organizations indicated that they are one step behind with regards to technology. More specifically, on a scale of one to seven, where four equals “just where we need to be” with regard to technological adoption, the average organizational self-assessment was 3.44.

The report indicates that “annual budget size proved to be an important factor in identifying similarities in technology resources, usage and implementation strategies for arts managers”. Large and very large organizations (based on budget categories) have slightly higher self-assessments of their adoption of technology (3.46 and 3.81, respectively) than small and medium organizations (3.30 and 3.33, respectively).

The survey results show that “social networking sites were the most commonly used technology by arts organizations of all budget sizes”. Direct email marketing was also commonly used, as was graphic or print design software. Commonly-used administrative technologies include in-house databases, online contact relationship management systems, donor management systems, and ticketing software.

The two areas of greatest difficulty regarding technology implementation among arts organizations are “building/maintaining technology infrastructure and writing grants for technology”. The report finds that a large percentage of respondents, regardless of organizational budget size, did not respond with any specific technology plans for the next year-which may indicate an overall lack of planning for future technology.

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