Editor's note: A few weeks ago, we announced Google Drive for Work, a new premium offering for businesses that includes unlimited storage, advanced audit reporting and new security controls. To celebrate the announcement and show how Drive helps businesses around the world, we’re sharing a few stories from a handful of customers using Drive (and the rest of the Google Apps suite) in innovative ways. Today’s guest blogger is Mike Giresi, CIO of Tory Burch, the lifestyle brand known for its iconic bright colors and eclectic prints, available at 120 boutiques around the world and online at Toryburch.com. To learn more about how Tory Burch’s move to the cloud helped them build a thriving retail business, join our Hangout on Air with Mike and Google’s Head of Industry Solutions & Retail on Wednesday, August 6th.
Before opening a new Tory Burch store, we go through months of planning with as many as 200 people, with tasks ranging from hiring staff, importing custom fixtures, designing windows, and when we can, having Tory on hand to do the opening honors. Nearly all of the documentation around a store opening, like blueprints and project plans, are developed by teams, not just one person. Google Drive helps these teams collaborate on documents and make decisions faster — now we can open three stores in a single weekend, something we couldn’t have done before we moved to Google.
Every Tory Burch store needs to embody the brand, so the process requires careful coordination. The more accessible store information is, the easier it is to decide on next steps. But with our old IT system, emailing spreadsheets back and forth wasn’t enabling the speedy decision-making we need for a rapidly growing retail business. Teams couldn’t get their hands on the right information to push store development forward.
Using Google Drive lets our store-opening teams and outside partners like architects and visual designers connect and collaborate seamlessly. For each Tory Burch store, team managers can create master folders without relying on IT, making it easy for them to store and share project timelines, floor plans, and merchandise lists. With Drive, we don't have to worry about version control, which was a struggle when we shared files over email — now, we know that what's stored and shared is the true, up-to-date document.
Choosing Drive also means we won’t have to worry about storage for documents, especially as we expand the business. Purchasing our own servers and storage disks doesn’t make good business sense for us — why not simply rely on a company like Google that can scale storage much better than we can do ourselves?
We’ve got the perfect combination of fashion’s most colorful and eclectic clothing and accessories, and Tory herself to embody the brand — so we’re confident that the world is ready for many more Tory Burch stores. Google Drive has become a catalyst for our exciting growth plans.
At NTEN, we're all over the Internet: we've got a community platform supporting online discussions and local events; microsites for both the Nonprofit Technology Conference and the Leading Change Summit; monthly email newsletters highlighting guest articles and new research on the blog; and social media profiles where we engage with the community regularly, including on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. For all this effort to create content and spark conversations, we won't be successful if our online presence didn't have a home. Our website is that home, and being a home is a difficult but important role.
I’m giving away a free registration to NTEN’s Leading Social Change Summit. If you want to a chance to win, leave a comment on this post sharing something that you’d like to learn about Impact Leadership or some wisdom from your experience about practicing impact leadership! I’ll pick a winner by July 3oth.
NTEN is hosting the “Leading Change Summit ” in San Francisco from September 3-6th. (Early bird registration ends on July 31 and scholarship information is here.) This conference will be different from Nonprofit Technology Conference which is geared for a wide nonprofit audience. The summit will be an opportunity for deeper peer learning for nonprofit change makers in three theme areas: digital strategy, impact leadership, and the future of technology. I’m excited to be co-facilitating the Impact Leadership track with colleagues John Kenyon, Elissa Perry, and Londell Jackson.
As you can see from the schedule overview, this is more of a participatory event versus the traditional conference with powerpoints and panelists. While participants in each track will explore their topics in depth and in the context of a facilitated structure, there will be inspiring keynotes and opportunities for networking for all participants. The event will end with an “Idea Accelerator” where participants will have an opportunity to develop and pitch an actionable idea for feedback and funding.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working with my fellow track facilitators to design the process that we will lead the participants in our track through. We’ve settled in on an innovation lab process that will help participants reflect on their current “Impact Leadership” practice, brainstorm solutions to key challenges, and come up with innovative and practical ideas to implement. We envision that participants will walk away with new insights, but they will also experience an innovation process that you they take back to your own organization.
One of our first design tasks as facilitators was for all of us to get clear on what we mean by “Impact Leadership.” While the specific topics will emerge from the people in the room, impact leadership is focusing within, people, processes and plans to help the org reach it’s mission. Our first session will set the stage and context for the practices of “Impact Leadership.” We’ll hear some brief lightning talks from participants and experts on technology planning, organizational culture, and the human and technical sides of impact measurement and reflect on what it means for our organizations. The facilitators will lead participants through human design facilitation techniques to gain both individual and group understanding of this question: What are our current organizational practices? What are the points of pain, strengths, and opportunities?
We know that leadership isn’t just about talking about the problems, it is also about discovering solutions. Today’s nonprofit leaders embrace collective creativity. We will facilitate a brainstorming and creative process of generating ideas that address the question: What are some ways that we can improve our practice of technology planning, organizational adoption, and impact measurement to get better results? Of course that particular question will change, morph, and multiply based on the earlier session, but it will provide a rich framework for generating many useful and practical ideas.
What great about this conference is that we will have creative immersion and change to “sleep on our ideas.” The brainstorming techniques from the previous day will yield many, many insights and ideas. However, putting great ideas into action calls for making things happen in a resourceful manner and frequent iteration. We facilitate small groups of participants to synthesize and create different prototypes for their ideas, bringing them to life — all with the goal of improving their organization’s current practice of impact leadership. Participants will not only end this session inspired and armed with a playbook of techniques and ideas to try back at the office, but may also have the genesis of a great idea or two to collaborate on during the next day’s Idea Accelerator.
The magic will happen based on who is in the room and the conversation. Colleagues like Deborah Finn and others are excited about the opportunity to learn from nonprofit tech peers. The deadline for early bird pricing is July 31st and if budget is tight, there are some limited scholarships available. And, if you are lucky, you might win a free registration by sharing your thoughts about impact leadership in the comments below.
Last month we announced Google Drive for Work, which includes advanced Drive auditing to give organizations control, security and visibility into how files are shared. This new security feature helps companies and IT managers protect confidential information and gain insights into how their employees work.
Drive audit helps IT admins view activity on documents, such as uploading and downloading files, renaming files, editing and commenting, and sharing with others. Filters make it easy to sort and find details like IP address, date range, document title and owner’s email address. To make advanced auditing reports easier to manage, admins can set up alerts for important events like files being shared outside the organization.
To help organizations derive even more value from Drive for Work, we’ve been working with partners to give you even more capabilities through the Drive Audit API:
- Backupify protects your Google Apps data through secure, automatic, daily backup allowing IT users to easily search and restore ﬁles with advanced administrative features, safeguarding your business from data loss caused by user errors, malicious deletions, hackers, and app errors. (website, blog post)
- BetterCloud, through their flagship cloud management and security tool, FlashPanel, has enhanced their offering through the Audit API to provide additional controls and insight. (website, blog post)
- CloudLock, who provides a pure-cloud Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution for SaaS applications, has released a new version of CloudLock for Google Drive, leveraging the new Google Drive audit APIs, to enable large organizations to extend their enterprise security controls to the cloud. (website, blog post)
- SkyHigh for Google Drive delivers Data Loss Prevention (DLP), mobile-to-cloud support, application auditing, data discovery, and anomaly detection without changing the Google Drive experience users love. (website, blog post)
And this is only the beginning. We invite developers and customers alike to get started with the Audit API to provide additional advanced security solutions for Google Drive. Learn more by visiting developers.google.com.
Google is committed to enabling organizations to be successful by leveraging a large community of ISVs. One of the areas we constantly invest in is our APIs, that allow customers and ISVs to extend the functionality of the Google Apps platform. If you’d like to join our ISV community, check out developers.google.com. For a list of ISVs supporting Google Apps, please visit the Google Apps Marketplace.
We are excited to release the 8th Annual Nonprofit Technology Staffing and Investments Report! This research provides valuable benchmarks to help you assess and plan your technology budgets and strategies, and considers the nonprofit sector as a whole to gauge the maturity and effectiveness of technology strategies and use.
With NTEN's theory of change in mind, this report examines technology staffing levels, technology budgets, and overall organizational approaches to technology decisions, as well as technology oversight and management practices. We have a number of key findings this year, including:
- On average, our respondents have 4.4 technology-responsible staff
- When looking at Per-Staff budgets, we see that Very Large organizations may be spending the same — or even less — than small organizations on technology
- The median technology budget as a percentage of the organization's total operating budget, across all organization sizes in our survey, ranges from 1.4% to 2.0%
- We continue to see a positive trend in terms of formally including technology in strategic plans, with 64% of all respondents indicating this practice
To gather the data for this report, we rely on the generosity and participation of respondents who completed the survey, as well as the collaboration of sector partners who helped distribute the survey. Thank you to The NonProfit Times, Network for Good, TechSoup Global, Idealware, and NPower. We also offered survey respondents the chance to enter a drawing for an Amazon gift card. The winner, selected at random, is Gwen Campbell from People Serving People — ongrats, Gwen!
Website design and development is a moving target where little changes can make a huge difference to your nonprofit’s website performance over time. In the past few years, you’ve heard a lot about responsive/mobile websites and the use of videos/ graphics to make the content more user-friendly. A lot of that still holds true. Here are some additional trends for making your website produce greater impacts in the coming year.
Work doesn’t just get done in the office: ideas are born and deals are closed from the patios of coffee shops, the benches of train stations and the backseats of taxi cabs. And in the summer, when the office is often the last place many of us want to be, it’s even more essential to get work done faster from anywhere — even on the way to where you’re going.
At Google, we value mobility and want to find the best way for our customers to do their work when they’re on the go. That’s why we invested in new infrastructure in Boston to support free public Wifi at South Station last year. And it’s why we're now outfitting Uber partners' cars in Philadelphia with free Wifi for the summer, compliments of Google Apps for Business. Thousands of entrepreneurs, consultants, restaurateurs and business owners now have another way to help them get work done from anywhere throughout The City of Brotherly Love.
Uber helps millions of people get around in over 41 countries globally, so they know a thing or two about working on the go. And like more than 5 million businesses around the world, they do it with the help of Google Apps for Business. Collaborative tools like Google Docs and Sheets help employees brainstorm, evaluate and prioritize new markets and promotions, while video conferencing over Hangouts keeps globally-distributed teams connected and close. It was using products like these that inspired Uber to offer this technology in Uber partners' cars in Philadelphia.
So, Philadelphia, whether you’re on the way to Wawa, the Linc, the Shore, or the office, you now have one more place to get your work done quickly so you can spend more time enjoying the summer and less time looking at the walls of your cubicle. Read more details from Uber then take uberWIFI for a spin. Benjamin Franklin would approve.
The Goal Is Exposure
Every afternoon this summer, Armstrong is in the offices of a small nonprofit called Hack the Hood. Her job is to fix websites for clients.
"I'm trying to do an outline," she says, staring at a page on her laptop that has a lot of links. "You click on it, it takes you everywhere in the world. I like short and simple."
I first put a fitbit, a digital pedometer that tracks steps, calories burned, food intake, and other personal analytics data, on my wrist back in October. After some results from routine tests during my annual physical, my doctor informed me that my cholesterol was high. ”Start exercising more and stop eating bacon cheese burgers ” were the doctor’s orders and we’ll retest in 6 months. Otherwise, I would need to go on statins.
As a data nerd, I couldn’t resist the fitbit and its ability to track my every move during this glorious science experiment. After six months of monitoring my personal health analytics and making better decisions, I’m happy to report that my cholesterol is in the normal range and a side benefit of loosing 20 pounds. I also started living the fitbit life, especially around finding ways to incorporate walking into my work – at client meetings, trainings, and even keynotes.
Many people are embracing wearable devices and apps that monitor their health and use it to improve their health. In a recent article in the MIT Technology Review about mobile health care data, making this data actionable can be life saving for the patient.
“Data is changing the role of patients, offering them a chance to play a more central part in their own care. One way is by using mobile technology to monitor sleep patterns, heart rate, activity levels, and so on. In development are even more advanced devices capable of continuously monitoring such key metrics as blood oxygen, glucose levels, and even stress. And companies like Apple are hoping to become repositories for all this information, giving consumers new ways to track and perhaps improve their health.”
Is there the potential for greater good from aggregating and analyzing our collective fitbit and other personal health data? Are there other benefits? What are the challenges?
These are the questions discussed during the Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C. last month. According to Information Week, the Health Data Exploration Project, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), announced it was forming a network of academics, scientists, and health IT companies interested in figuring out the logistical, practical, and ethical issues related to mining consumer health data to spot public health trends.
The project published the Personal Data for the Public Good and has recently received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to explore the issues identified in the report. They are defining health-related data as the data being collected by wearable devices and smartphone apps as well as ambient social data as people communicate on social networks and leave digital footprints related to personal health tracking, monitoring, and decision-making.
As the report points out, “personal health data” falls into a bermuda triangle as it is currently mostly outside of the mainstream of traditional health care, public health or health research. Medical, behavioral, social and public health research still largely rely on traditional sources of health data such as those collected in clinical trials, sifting through electronic medical records, or conducting periodic surveys.
The initial survey and interviews found the following:
- Individuals were very willing to share their self-tracking data for research, in particular if they knew the data would advance knowledge in the fields related to PHD such as public health, health care, computer science and social and behavioral science. Most expressed an explicit desire to have their information shared anonymously and we discovered a wide range of thoughts and concerns regarding thoughts over privacy.
- There is a great deal of experimentation taking place. For example, SmallStepsLab serves as an intermediary between Fitbit, a data rich company, and academic researchers via a “preferred status” API held by the company. Researchers pay SmallStepsLab for this access as well as other enhancements that they might want.
- There are clearly some obstacles around privacy and access. The report pointed out these:
- Privacy and Data Ownership: Among individuals surveyed, the dominant condition (57%) for making their PHD available for research was an assurance of privacy for their data, and over 90% of respondents said that it was important that the data be anonymous. Further, while some didn’t care who owned the data they generate, a clear majority wanted to own or at least share owner- ship of the data with the company that collected it.
- InformedConsent:Researchers are concerned about the privacy of PHD as well as respecting the rights of those who provide it. For most of our researchers, this came down to a straightforward question of whether there is informed consent. Our research found that current methods of informed consent are challenged by the ways PHD are being used and reused in research. A variety of new approaches to informed consent are being evaluated and this area is ripe for guidance to assure optimal outcomes for all stakeholders.
- Data Sharing and Access: Among individuals, there is growing interest in, as well as willingness and opportunity to, share personal health data with others. People now share these data with others with similar medical conditions in online groups like PatientsLikeMe or Crohnology, with the intention to learn as much as possible about mutual health concerns. Looking across our data, we find that individuals’ willingness to share is dependent on what data is shared, how the data will be used, who will have access to the data and when, what regulations and legal protections are in place, and the level of compensation or benefit (both personal and public).
- Data Quality: Researchers highlighted concerns about the validity of PHD and lack of standardization of devices. While some of this may be addressed as the consumer health device, apps and services market matures, reaching the optimal outcome for researchers might benefit from strategic engagement of important stakeholder groups.
There are more and more people like me who are tracking their health on their smartphone or on social networks and a growing number of wearable devices that can track data. There are many more on the horizon, for example, even a digital plate that count your calorie intake. The report identifies a lot of interest from individuals and researchers to make use of this data. However, privacy, balancing open science with intellectual data, and other issues need to be addressed before personal health data can be maximized for public good.
While social media and social networks were the first wave of connectedness, we are now entering what Geoff Livingston describes as a “post social era.” This is a world where everything will be connected and generate data, even cows will tweet. We’re just beginning to look at the implications for the social good sector.
Are you tracking your health with a health app? Would you be willing to share your personal health information with researchers?
Communications Associate, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (Princeton, NJ)
Communications & Policy Director, American Forest Foundation (Washington, DC)
Communications Director, Rebuild by Design (New York, NY)
Communications Director, William Mitchell College of Law (Saint Paul, MN)
Communications Specialist, The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation (Asheville, NC)
Digital Content & Marketing Manager, National Council on Aging (Washington, DC)
Digital Media Specialist, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (Spartanburg, SC)
Director of Communications, Life Sciences Foundation (Oakland, CA)
Director of Communications, Stuart Foundation (San Francisco, CA)
Director of Communications, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Cambridge, MA)
Director of Marketing & Communications, American College of Rheumatology
Internal Online Communications Manager, American Board of Internal Medicine (Philadelphia, PA)
Marketing Manager, Just Give (San Francisco, CA)
Social Media Specialist, amFAR (New York, NY)