5 Returns on Investment in Social Services Technology

Return on Investment (ROI), Social Services, Technology

The one constant in today’s workplace is change. And the driving force behind change often is technology. Leaders in the field of social and human services need to embrace the opportunities that technology offers to agencies, their staff and, most importantly, the clients they serve.

5 returns on investment by leveraging technology in your agency:

1. Credibility — Your agency becomes a “thought leader” once you bring a new technology to your social and human services’ operations. What does this mean? Thought leaders are informed individuals in their field or sector of expertise. They are the source of insight, ideas, innovation and inspiration. Thought leaders insist on turning conversation and ideas into reality.

They garner a committed following and create cross-sector alliances and partnerships to scale ideas into credible change in not just one agency but for an entire sector.

Investing in technology for social and human services often is a scary endeavor, but once you are the pioneer who succeeds, you become the credible thought leader in the social and human services sector.

2. Stability — Utilizing technology to replace your agency’s manual processes creates a higher level of satisfaction within direct-practice, low-salaried workers.Employees feel satisfied when you are investing in them and valuing how their time is spent.Satisfaction leads to worker retention, which creates more stability within the agency. More stability for the agency leads to less time and money spent on training new employees. In addition, stability often leads to better results and outcomes with your agency’s clients, thus serving your agency’s mission more effectively.

3. Opportunity — You create opportunity for growth in other areas when you free up your manual operations by implementing a technology. You can focus on preventing a problem or issue instead of fixing it. In addition, successful implementation of your product and the improvement it brings to your agency will lead to other partner, donor and funding opportunities.

So ask yourself: Is your resistance to change actually saving you money or costing you opportunity?

4. Sustainability — Are you tackling your long-term mission or just confronting the problems that greet you each day? We all know that social and human service executives are constantly putting out fires in their respective sectors. One problem you should not have to worry about is how to sustain your agency on current manual and antiquated processes. When you are maximizing the operations of your agency through new technologies, you are creating a solid foundation for sustainability as money and other resources can be directed to serve your agency’s mission rather than wasted on manual work processes. You are more likely to survive political pressure and monetary stressors when you are progressing your mission.

5. Evidence-Based — Implementing technologies that help you run reports and track data more efficiently will help you validate your programs and processes. In addition, practices and programs backed by data are more likely to be funded.Donors and other sources behind funding want to know that their money is actually improving the system and moving it in a positive direction. In other words, they do not want their money squandered. Many social and human service agencies are pressured to do more with less by measuring outcomes.

Implementing technologies that populate outcome reports make your agency more reliable.
About the Author
McKenzie Smith
McKenzie Smith
Founder, Consultant

McKenzie Smith is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years of experience in the social services. She is committed to bringing all technology solutions and information into 1 centralized and synthesized hub for the sector. She is very passionate about social services and nonprofits using metrics and technology to increase effectiveness and impact on large scales. When she is not moving the social service system forward you will find her chasing after her son Nash, running her daughter Irie to activities or going to a Pilates class.