The Appleton Artists Collective Technology Upgrade Plan

Background Information

Appleton Artist Collective and Gallery is an organization that promotes artistic works in the Lowell area. The organization employs three workers on a permanent basis and these include the Resident Manager, custodian, and Gallery Director in addition to a board that consists of ten members. Currently, the organization has made little investments on technology due to its small workforce and only the Resident Manager and Gallery Director have computers at their disposal. Some of the uses of the computers at Appleton Artist Collective and Gallery include managing the organization’s financial accounts such as the management of its payroll and tracking revenue and expenses. The organization also operates a website that had been created using SquareSpace by the previous Gallery Director and the website allows artists to submit their exhibit proposals. Some of the issues facing the organization include increased costs of renting the building and low workload to the Resident Manager. The management believes that the Resident Manager’s responsibilities should be increased to include the rental management to reduce the organization’s monthly expenditure on the rents. The new Gallery Director believes that the organization’s website should be upgraded to include eCommerce solutions, improve the handling of the organization’s rentals, and enhance internal communications.

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Appleton Artists Collective Mission Statement

The organization’s mission is preserving in perpetuity the Appleton Artist Studios and Gallery as an affordable place for artists to work and live in and created based on a rental model. Appleton Artists Collective also strives to be recognized as an important arts building that has active participation from the residents in addition to participating in and supporting the arts community in the greater Boston and Lowell areas.

The Current State of Technology at Appleton Artists Collective

Currently, Appleton Artists Collective has a significant shortage of computers and related networking hardware. The organization currently has only one desktop computer for the Gallery Director and another one for the Resident Manager in addition to two laser printers. The software installed in the computers include Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Avantquest Bookkeeper, and Microsoft Office Professional. The organization also operates a rudimentary website that was created using SquareSpace by the former Gallery Director and some of the apps used on the website include Google Calendar and FormStack for online forms. The two computers operate as standalone and this reduces the organization’s ability to evaluate its employees’ activities and integrate activities. The available at the organization is inadequate in making the organization competitive in meeting its obligations to the artists. However, the current Gallery Director is knowledgeable in graphic designs as well as the management of the organization’s website. The Gallery Director has succeeded in improving the Appleton Artists Collective’s website design despite the SquareSpace’s limitations and she believes that the organization should consider building an enhanced website that would be hosted by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Additionally, the Gallery Director believes that the new website should have integrated features that support internal communications, eCommerce, and rental management to reduce the organization’s operating costs.

Technology Acquisitions and Improvements

Presently, the organization requires a technology roadmap that would help in communicating Appleton Artists Collective technology strategy and aid in making strategic decisions on the organization’s technical infrastructure. The technology roadmap is also necessary because it assists the organization to determine its hardware and software requirements in addition to making it easier for Appleton Artists Collective to access funding to support its technology upgrading efforts. Some of the organization’s hardware requirements include a new HP Compaq 6200 Pro computer with 16 GB DDR3 RAM, CPU speed of 3.30 GHz, and a hard drive with 500 GB capacity that will be purchased at $750. The Gallery Director will use this computer to manage Appleton Artists Collective’s collection of artistic works and enhance internal communications at the organization. Appleton Artists Collective will also need to buy a new HP Compaq dx7400 Microtower computer that will have an 8 GB DDR3 RAM with a CPU speed of 2.33 GHz and a hard drive with 250 GB capacity that will be bought at $600.

Moreover, the organization will need to buy an HP Compaq ProLiant DL380 Gen 9 Server that will have a 16 GB RAM and internal hard disk with a capacity of 500 GB. The server will cost about $2,500 and will be used in supporting the organization’s operation and communication needs. The server is also important because it will increase Appleton Artists Collective’s flexibility in addition to supporting the organization’s future technology needs. The server will be kept in a small room that will be rented for about $2,400 per year. The organization’s required software will include Windows Server 2017, Windows 10 operating system, SQLite database that supports small to medium installations for between one and one hundred users, Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5+, and IIS Express Version 10. Appleton Artists Collective will also need to develop an integrated library system and train its Resident Manager on how to manage the new website. The organization will also create a new website that will be hosted at InMotion Hosting, Bluehost, or Dreamhost. The cost of the software to be used and website hosting is approximated at $4,000 and the hardware cost is $3,850.

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