background image
DigiCULT
.
Info
12
In the following sections we summarise the user feedback
on four of the questions from the questionnaire.
Who do you consider most like-
ly to benefit from the DigiCULT
publications in your organisation?
The answers to these questions varied,
but, overall, project managers, policy
makers and technical staff of libraries,
museums and archives were considered
most likely to benefit from the
DigiCULT publications (42 respondents).
This includes descriptions such as
`Archivists, technical staff and project
managers', `Stakeholders, project mana-
gers, technical staff ' or `Business and ICT
policy makers, digitisation and e-techno-
logies projects'.
Other answers ranged from `Everyone
in our organisation' or `From the manager
to the employees', one or more depart-
ments (e.g. `Collection and
Communication Department', `E-Access
Department', `Central Management
Department', `Our IT team') to one or
more user groups (e.g. `Librarians, techni-
cal staff ', `Managers, archivists',
`Researchers', `Consultants').
What are the vital questions
asked when employing a new
technology in your institutions?
The answers to the question on what
the institutions consider as the vital ques-
tions when employing a new technology
may be of general interest. Applying a rat-
her crude categorisation, we can distin-
guish between respondents who find that
their institution acts taking into account:
(a) a bundle of vital questions;
(b) primarily the interest of stakeholders
(i.e. user groups, public institutions),
possible service improvements, and
social impact;
(c) cost considerations, or
(d) another important single factor.
(a) In this category, respondents, for exam-
ple, mentioned `(1) Relevance to suppor-
ting the institution's strategic directions;
(2) Benefit to users; (3) Cost; (4) Fit with
existing standards and architectures' or `A
number of factors, including benefits to
the business, compliance with user needs
and strategies, deployment and mainte-
nance costs, integration with existing
systems, and value for money'.
(b) Here typical answers were: `Social
impact, interest of stakeholders'; `Social
impact and sector trends'; `How will it
help us provide a better service? How will
it help improve value for money?; `Added
value which it provides, in terms of
access, efficiency etc.'
(c) For respondents who mentioned only
one `vital question', cost considerations
were seen to be the most important single
factor when employing a new technology.
Typical answers here were: `Total cost of
ownership, with a focus on quality and
longevity'; `Return on investment, com-
petitive edge, cost'; `Cost aspects and dura-
bility' or `Total cost of ownership, inclu-
ding support costs; functionality; upgrade
path; sector trends, e.g. keeping up-to-date
with new software releases; scalability'.
(d) Other important single factors inclu-
ded: Standards and interoperability
(`Compliance with functional and techni-
cal requirements; open standards; sustaina-
bility'); Innovation (`The latest models
which can be used for our purposes and
for the benefit of our members'); Skills
(`It is also a question of available manpo-
wer'; `Skills to implement it'); Educational
requirements (`Pedagogical factors: impro-
ve teaching and facilitate learning'); other,
special factors such as: `Vital question is
security' or `We operate in different coun-
tries so how to get all of us to the same
level to work together using the same
software etc. is a complicated issue'.
Is there any issue you would
like to see covered in an upcoming
issue of the DigiCULT.Info
Newsletter?
The answers to this question reveal that
cultural heritage institutions are particu-
larly interested in `best practice', either in
general or related to a specific area of
interest (22 respondents).Typical answers
here included: `Best practice project expe-
riences (also bad !!)'; `Best practices
innovative projects are of most interest';
`Best practice for easy and low-cost infor-
mation sharing within existing technolo-
gies' or `Best practices in cross-border pro-
jects (museums, archives, archaeology,
library)'. Specific areas for which best
practices were explicitly sought include:
`Digital library/hybrid library solutions';
`Retro-digitisation and long-term availa-
bility'; `Archiving electronic publications';
`Electronic records management' or
`Integrating the management of e-services'.