Taking preservation into the digital age: An interview with National Trust CIO Sarah Flannigan

Taking preservation into the digital age: An interview with National Trust CIO Sarah Flannigan

National Trust CIO Sarah Flannigan says creative mobile solutions can help organisations overcome the challenges associated with customer engagement.

Sarah Flannigan, CIO at the National Trust, recognises creativity and innovation are crucial elements when using technology to successfully meet business objectives.

The former sales and marketing director for manufacturing specialist David Salisbury became IT leader at the conservation charity in 2010. She says her business background makes her fully aware of the need to engage with customers in innovative ways.

“We need to make the most of consumer and mobile technology,” says Flannigan. “Cost is important because we’re a charity but the business benefits associated with new forms of technology can help produce a quick return on investment.”

The Trust already employs digital media specialists who deal with social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs. The creation of real-time content is devolved to Trust properties and employees engage with the wider community. Rangers, for example, are encouraged to write blogs about anything ranging from plant health to coastal footpath maintenance.

“Communicating about nature has to be real time,” says Flannigan. “We want to let our members know that the bluebells are out or a cow is in calf. We’ve realised our website is our biggest property. Joined-up communications presents a huge opportunity.”

Flannigan’s proactive approach includes allowing users to bring their own technology (BYOT) to work. While other CIOs have chosen to shy away from consumerisation, the Trust was an early adopter of employee-led choice.

“We tell workers that we’ll support their technology if they want to use it,” she says, recognising that some individuals chose to use their own iPhones and iPad. “We’re happy because iOS is carefully locked down. We only support Apple devices for BYOT because of the in-built security options.”

Flannigan’s BYOT strategy includes clear guidelines for employees, such as instructions on how to receive work email, signed forms for personal liability and systems for remote data wiping. By allowing employees to use their own technology, Flannigan can repurpose previously allocated mobile technology, saving costs and increasing flexibility for other individuals in the Trust.

Some iPad devices have already been deployed in Trust properties. Volunteer room guides armed with the mobile device can give additional information to visitors, or can allow individuals to interact with the technology themselves. An example includes the Long Gallery at Montacute House in Somerset. The collaboration with the National Gallery allows visitors to use iPad and see more information about paintings.

“The technology brings properties to life,” says Flannigan. The Trust has embraced mobile development and created its first iPhone app for visitors more than two years ago. The GPS-based app allows customers to view nearby properties and see opening times, historical information and events. “It helps us to show that we’re not the stuffy organisation people used to think we were and it can breathe new life into a return property visit, ” she says.

The Trust has also launched a gardens app that allows visitors to obtain rich information about gardens at Trust properties. The app includes an augmented reality experience of the garden, which identifies and tags shrubs and trees. “Mobile development is helping us to reach a non-traditional audience,” says Flannigan.

Further mobile developments are being considered. The Trust is keen to investigate how tablets can help rangers conduct tree surveys at sites. Flannigan says challenges abound, such as battery life, device fragility and screen glare. One possible avenue is via the implementation of iPad mini.

Tablet devices will also be used to help recruit members at sites. Visitors are currently signed up through a manual process. Flannigan says automation through iPad would be more intuitive and help speed up the enrolment process. She hopes to have tablets on site from summer 2013 but must first overcome challenges surrounding access to power and network connectivity in remote locations.

“Whatever device we use will have to meet our criteria and we’re currently wrestling with the challenges,” she says. “But the digital age is definitely allowing us to think about engagement in terms that would have been impossible ten years ago.”

National Trust CIO Sarah Flannigan on digital media

Sarah Flannigan, CIO at National Trust

Working with a trusted IT partner

The National Trust runs an in-house publishing division that produces magazines and marketing collateral. On joining the charity in 2010, CIO Sarah Flannigan discovered workers in the department were using various versions of the Apple Mac computer, which tends to be the default choice for workers involved in publishing.

The rest of the organisation was running Microsoft Windows-based PC technology. There was a misguided belief among in-house IT support workers that the publishing team should simply fend for themselves because the strategy then was not to support Apple technology. Flannigan, with the help of Jigsaw24, established a support mechanism for the publishing department.

“I want IT to be under our control and I want to be responsible for end user support. We need our publishing team to be producing great content, not worrying about problematic IT issues. We had to find a way to deal with this specialist need. Jigsaw24 genuinely slotted in and supported our way of working,” she says.

Interested in finding out how Jigsaw24 can help your organisation? Call us on 03332 409 234 or email CIO@Jigsaw24.com. You can also find out how Stuart Page of Bauer Media and Chris Taylor of News International have used mobility and Apple to revolutionise operations.

Infographic: Your definitive guide to Adobe Creative Cloud!

Infographic: Your definitive guide to Adobe Creative Cloud!

In May 2013, Adobe’s Creative Cloud was launched. For some, it heralded a new creative workflow with improved collaboration and access to the design community; for others, it marked confusion. What exactly has changed? How is it different from Creative Suite? Is Adobe Behance a new type of anti-ageing creme? To make things simple and in answer to your questions, we decided to put together a definitive guide to Adobe Creative Cloud for Teams. Take a look…

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Still got questions? Take a look at our Adobe Creative Cloud for Teams FAQ section here or get in touch with the team on 03332 409 251 or email Adobe@Jigsaw24.com

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iBook: Getting started with iPad

iBook: Getting started with iPad

Let’s be honest, Apple’s iPad is pretty awesome. Everybody wants one, and now you’ve gone and got your hands on one. But, what next? If you’ve used one of Apple’s touch devices before, you’ll probably be au fait with most of the functionality available to you, but, if not, here’s our beginners guide to everything from the multitouch gestures to setting up email accounts and connecting to Apple TV. To download from iTunes click here or the image below.

Want to know more about getting started on iPad? Call us on 03332 400 888 or email us at sales@Jigsaw24.com

 

 

iPad: Meeting the needs of the mobile workforce

iPad: Meeting the needs of the mobile workforce

According to Gartner, by 2016, 40% of the workforce will be mobile. But what does that mean for your team and the technology they will be using?

From sales teams to warehouse teams and retail area managers, having access to the ‘right’ technology is as important as the skills they have at their disposal. Bogged down with a laptop that can only be used when it’s convenient, and it’s productivity that suffers. iPad allows people to be more efficient and more productive wherever they are, and all while reducing costs. See how for yourself…

Increased revenues through increased productivity – OK, we know it sounds like a load of hot air, but iPad will help productivity go through the roof. Aside from having an incredibly intuitive user interface that puts the tools you need all the time right in front of you, it gives you access to files and resources on the fly.

With access to presentation tools as well as lead and client information, your sales team have anywhere, anytime access to the resources they need to close a deal. They get realtime access to files on company servers and can use apps that hook into Salesforce and other CRM tools but present the information in a much more intuitive way.

Alternatively, foremen in a manufacturing plant might currently spend 20% to 30% of their time walking around the plant – having information on mobile technology means production concerns can be managed in realtime.

Apps that are made for your business. iPad is a great way for you to introduce a culture of crowdsourcing within your business. The App Store is home to thousands of approved apps that do everything from hook into sales information to monitor traffic and conversions on an ecommerce website.

Want to be more prescriptive? Bespoke app creation allows you to use an app that has been developed for a specific task within your organisation.

Bespoke apps sit perfectly within retail environments to help provide an outstanding customer experience. From personal shoppers to store assistants, they can give staff realtime access to everything from stock levels to guides for visual merchandising regardless of where they are in the store or in the country!

Save the planet, save your printing costs. A lot of businesses are already feeling the pressure of a shift to paperless workflows in order to reduce day-to-day costs. iPad allows you to view and annotate files as if you’re using a pen and paper, drawing and adding comments, while promotional teams who usually carry around forms for customers to fill in can do everything in a digital format.

iPad essentially eradicates the need to ever print again, and based on our calculations we reckon you could give every employee an iPad 2 and make back the cost in paper savings alone within a year! Get in touch with us for a better idea of how this would work in your business.

For architects, construction companies and anyone working with technical drawings, it’s not uncommon to have shed loads of paper. With iPad, everything can be digital and apps are already available that let you view AutoCAD drawings on the device rather than using printed drawings, while augmented reality (AR) apps are proven to help visualise designs in situ when on sites. Alternatively, for retail visual merchandising, interactive and AR apps not only save paper but provided a far more dynamic way of seeing the ideal store layout.

How Jigsaw24 can help you go mobile…

We’ll work with you to find out the best way to get the most from iPad and give you the tools and support you need to mobilise your workforce. We have 21 years’ experience working with businesses to implement Apple devices, and are an Apple Authorised Reseller and a nationwide Apple Service Provider with repairs centres in London, Manchester and Nottingham, meaning we can offer the very best sales experience great prices and ongoing support. With more than 25,000 customers, we’re already helping some of the UK’s leading businesses to deploy iPad.

Call us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com to find out more about iPad. Or head on over to our iPad store here to buy now!

What is Adobe Creative Cloud for teams single app?

Adobe offers two Creative Cloud for teams plans – complete and single app. A single app plan includes access to the latest version of one CC desktop app of your choice such as Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC, updates and upgrades the moment they are released, and select services and business features.

Can I deploy a Creative Cloud for teams single app membership using Creative Cloud Packager?

Yes, IT admins can choose to package and deploy all Creative Cloud for teams memberships (complete and single app) using Creative Cloud Packager, or they can elect for their users to install the software and manage the updates on their own.