When museums are able to embrace new technologies, they can bring sweeping changes to the institution that supports the museum, their staff, and their public on a higher level than ever before. In order to take full advantage of these opportunities, museum staff are including their digital initiatives in their museum’s strategic plan. Evolving to include a defined digital strategy allows museums to leverage digital technologies to connect with their audience, protect their content and cultural data, support their mission more fully, and do so on a budget fit for a collection.
Museums who are crafting their digital strategies for the first time can find the process to be a challenge. Luckily, institutions such as SFMOMA, NARA, and the Andy Warhol Museum are making pieces of their digital strategy, and sometimes their entire strategy, available online. For anyone looking to get started, working with strong examples from other members of the museum community can nurture the creation of a new digital strategy.
The Andy Warhol Museum, a Gallery Systems client, uses GitHub to share their digital strategy, for free, online. They invite other members of the cultural sector to view, adapt, share, and repurpose these documents, and welcome those with concepts to improve digital strategy throughout the cultural sector to submit ideas. Not only does this invitation help to improve possible new digital strategies for museums looking to build theirs for the first time, but it helps to strengthen the Warhol’s strategy through crowdsourcing.
The Warhol’s digital strategy is meant to be a “living, organic document,” as Jeffrey Inscho describes in his article, More Than a Museum: A Digital Strategy, on The Warhol blog. This approach allows the Museum to adapt quickly to changes in technology by giving digital staff the ability to be opportunistic with initiatives rather than reactive.
You can view The Warhol’s documents here.