Keeping you technologically safe and running smoothly
Almost every youth sports organization has a paid employee or volunteer who is responsible for managing the organization’s website, accounting system, databases, registration system, game and tournament schedules, employee and volunteer work schedules and maybe even social media accounts.
Incoming and current technical managers can benefit from the tips below on efficiency and security offered below.
- Take stock of the technology you have. The first step in maintaining safe and functional technology is knowing exactly what you have. Set up a spreadsheet of all your software and hardware systems. Record the product names and versions, where each was purchased and contract end dates. You’ll have all the information you need in one place – preferably where others in the organization can access it if necessary.
- Talk to your predecessor. If you’re the incoming tech manager, make sure to have a conversation with the outgoing manager and pick his/her brains about any past or present problems, potential upgrades, and any glitches in the operation. It’s critical that you obtain all the login information for your systems, programs and websites. It’s just as important to know who else has access to this information and to change passwords that former administrators, staff or volunteers may have. This includes revoking administrator privileges to the outgoing director.
- Where is everything?It’s important to learn where all the organization’s data is stored – both electronic and paper. If possible, scan paper files into PDF format for online storage. The organization’s data should not be stored on anyone’s personal computer. If multiple users need access, consider using Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox or another cloud service. They’re more secure, accessible from anywhere, and free!
- You are your website. Maybe your responsibilities include maintaining the association’s website and managing its social media accounts.Your website is the face of your organization. Review it with a keen eye and see what needs updated and delete anything not related to the current or next year. Make sure it’s mobile responsive, which means the layout and images can be viewed correctly on a tablet or smart phone. Make sure your site is secure, with at least 256-bit encryption.
Think twice about letting a player’s parent offer to build and host a website and link it to your social media as an act of goodwill or a money-saving effort. All too frequently these helpful people become less eager or simply disappear as they change jobs, their kids age out of the program, move, or simply become too busy. Depending on such a person to get your website up and continuing to run smoothly can be disastrous. Better to rely on a company that provides technical and customer service when you need it.
- Get feedback. Who, other than parents, coaches and board members, would know what’s working and what isn’t? No one! Take the time to ask them if they’re experiencing problems registering players, making payments, etc. Ask if they have suggestions for improvement. Consider emailing a survey asking for feedback. You may not be able to implement all the suggestions, but being a good listener, taking their complaints seriously, and attending to issues quickly calms frustrations and builds trust.
As the tech director, you’ll be one of the most sought after people in your association. Therefore, document everything you do in a spreadsheet, from dates of technical repairs to conversations with vendors. You’ll be glad you did when someone raises questions and you have the answers at your fingertips.
- Liability Concerns from websites and social media. And finally, you must protect yourself from your liabilities arising from breach of confidential information due to a hacker attack, invasion of privacy, and a libelous posts on your website or social media. These risks are not adequately covered by most General Liability policies due to various exclusions. Many Directors & Officers Liability policies are now offering coverage extensions with sub limits of coverage to address these risks. Or, a stand-alone Cyber Risk policy may be purchased for associations with heavy exposure. Contact Sadler Sports & Recreation insurance for more information on these policies.
Source: Paul Langhorst. “8 Tips for the New Sports Association Technology Director.” www.engagesports.com. 29 Oct., 2015.