Below is an inspiring case study on how Sarah Flannigan, the National Trust’s new CIO, successfully managed to mobilise the charity organisation to achieve its goals in the most efficient, high-value and low-cost way possible.

The fact that the National Trust’s transformation was brought about by the CIO, proves that technology is increasingly a game-changer for businesses.

Flannigan's recipe for success was a good mix of cultural change, customer and  employee engagement, IT assets overhaul, engaging content and an energised social media strategy.

It sounds pretty straight-forward really, yet somehow many companies are still reluctant to go for this winning recipe. How many times have you been trapped in painfully slow, not user-friendly sites, waiting forever for pages to load only to realise you still can't find what you were looking for? How often have you been on the phone to customer services but found them not as knowledgeable, helpful - and enthusiastic - as they should be? How often have you had no option but to enquire via the totally impersonal ‘contact us’ form that so often goes unanswered? Finally, how often have you visited social media channels only to find that the most recent tweet was posted weeks ago? 

Going back to Flannigan’s successful recipe, outdated IT systems are often slow and unreliable and a real technical barrier to innovation. They are also costly to maintain so, investing in new, automated and integrated systems will always prove cost effective in the long run.

As for digital presence, add colour, images and video to great-quality, up-to-date, relevant content and you have the perfect combination and perfect environment to keep visitors on your site and on your social channels.

And don’t forget to make your site mobile-friendly. In this day and age, it is not just an expectation, it’s an assumption. Or you’ll inevitably lose some audience.

Last but not least, without employee engagement and onboarding, even the best technology is worthless. Your workforce is the face of the company, a very important asset that needs nurturing and investing in.