Approaching Innovation and Digital Strategies
Innovation with a purpose: how to build an innovation strategy fitting one’s institution?
The primary stimulus that drives digitisation in CHIs is the goal to preserve and widen access to the collected cultural artefacts. Digitised works offer two main advantages: compared to physical artefacts, digitised objects can be made available online to be accessed from anywhere in the world at any time, and, if done correctly, digitisation allows access to detailed information that can help to contextualise the work, link to other objects, make it easily retrievable and reusable in new contexts.
In addition to this - and assuming a market approach - we could also consider the competitive advantage of cultural institutions in digitising their collections. It can become an opportunity to compete with other leisure cultural activities, as well as with other CHIs. If cultural institutions become a more competitive player and start innovating in a market logic considering their audience's needs, they take the first step to safeguard their financial viability and the relevance of the organisation in the cultural sector.
It is necessary to stress that digitising heritage collections is not so much an isolated project but rather an overarching institutional shift. Once online, what happens with the data? How to make it easily findable? How could it be reused and by whom? What are the risks associated with making such cultural data accessible online? Thus when talking about digitisation, it is necessary to consider comprehensive digital strategies that go beyond the adoption of digital technologies.