Title:Structuring for digital success: A global survey of how museums and other cultural organizations resource, fund, and structure their digital teams and activity
Authors:Kati Price, Dafydd James
Publication:MW18: Museums and the Web 2018

How do museums and other cultural organizations identify exactly how big their digital teams should be, how they should be structured, and where they should sit in the organization? And how do they define and measure digital success? We surveyed 56 GLAM organizations across the world to find out some of the answers to the questions that digital leaders are asking right now. In this paper we examine how these organizations are re-configuring their digital teams to define and drive success, and identify the patterns that are beginning to emerge.

We explore the changing structures and relationships that digital teams have with colleagues, and what this means for digital responsibility in the organization. We include key insights and practical advice to help organizations of all sizes understand how best to structure their digital teams—by revealing what works and what doesn’t—and help them identify the skills needed. Through a series of interviews with colleagues across the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, we explore how digital leaders are re-defining the role and mandate of a digital team.

Our findings reveal that none of us have yet embraced full digital maturity. The majority are still using a centralized model, but aspire for digital to become distributed across the organization. Yet that won’t happen until we tackle a significant underinvestment in digital skills (most notably in data analysis and technical leadership), and until we begin to set—and measure—realistic objectives for digital success.

This study presents a global picture of how digital is being shaped in museums, and conversely, how it is shaping our museums and cultural institutions today; we suggest next steps in helping organizations on their journeys to digital maturity.