Title:Digital Transformation: It's a Process and You Can Start Now
Authors:Jack Ludden, John Russick
Publication:MW2020: MuseWeb 2020

Museums have been contemplating the influence and impact of digital for more than a half century. In the last two decades, the debate has shifted from whether or not museums will be reshaped by digital technology to how will museums be transformed by technology and the thinking, processes, and personalities that come with it. Transformations like this are not uncommon. Other technologies have changed our world in equally significant ways and over similarly short periods of time. Automobiles transformed personal mobility and both the metaphorical and actual landscape of our lives. Radio and photography gave us the ability to see, hear, and understand people from all over the world.

Large or small, museums need to evaluate their digital ecosystems and commit to change. Museums must improve their digital competency and support data-driven decisions that impact all aspects of their work. While many museums across the country have begun their "digital transformation," there are countless numbers (tens of thousands across the United States) that should be building upon strategic frameworks that expand their digital competencies. In this paper, John Russick (Senior Vice President of the Chicago History Museum) and Jack Ludden (Senior Strategist and Innovation Specialist at Balboa Park Online Collaborative and former Assistant Director, Head of Digital Experience and New Media Development at the Getty) will identify the challenges and opportunities they have experienced as museums undergo digital transformation. They will provide tactics that champion collaborative conversations and empower museums to create digital-first strategies that makes museums more efficient and improve the visitor experience.