It’s 2020 – in with the new and out with the old AMS! Or is it really time to let it go?
As we explored in our blog The Evolution of AMS, CRM, and the Business Platform, progressive organizations need more than just a traditional AMS (association manage software) solution. They need a full Association Business Platform (ABP). It needs to go beyond capturing membership and event data. It needs to have tools like business intelligence (BI) and artificial intelligence (AI) to predict member behavior, increase engagement, and so much more!
As we begin this new decade, I encourage you to take a few minutes and think about your current AMS system. See if it is up to the task of keeping up with your evolving needs.
#5: My Data is in Disarray
Do you have multiple systems, but none of them are “talking” with one another? If so, that’s a problem. Your systems should seamlessly integrate and allow information to easily flow from one department to another. Likewise, are you are using an AMS “workaround” of an Excel spreadsheet (or multiple spreadsheets)? If so, then why have that AMS at all? Paying to update systems that are not working is a waste of money. It also wastes your team’s time and contributes to data that is most likely inconsistent, error ridden, and disjointed throughout your organization. How can you accurately do any strategic planning, if your information is not able to be accessed from one central location?
#4: I Need Developer Help
Are you spending a fortune for developers? Do you want to bring on a new line of business, but you can’t? Is your organization’s current system designed to be centrally run by your IT department? Then you probably need a developer’s help for simple technical tasks. For example, if you want to start a new business process, you can’t simply download an app to make it happen. You need a developer to either custom create that process or somehow configure it for you. Today’s ABP’s allow for an array of self-service options both operationally and externally. ABP’s use tools like bots to answer members’ questions and free up staff time.
#3: I Can’t Do My Own Reporting!
The #1 thing all associations need to do is reporting, yet if you can’t simply create your own report, you might want to consider a new system. Every board needs to know what their membership numbers look like (i.e. How many members do you have? Are there more or less from last year? Etc.) Yet, time and time again we talk to Membership Directors who can’t access that information themselves. It’s 2020, DOS is out, and AI is in! Being able to create your own reports is more than just a matter of #FOMO, it should be an expected right of all association professionals.
#2: My Current AMS Needs to Be Upgraded…
…but I’ll never do it because it’s such a horrific proce$$!
If even with the upgrade most of your issues will not be resolved, then perhaps the problem lies with the system itself. Continually patching holes in systems that are not serving your overall needs may seem like a good idea in the short term. Unfortunately, doing so has significant long-term negative effects:
- Your team will lose time they could have otherwise been using to improve engagement and other processes
- You will always be playing catch up instead using technology to help you get ahead
- You will pay MORE over the long term than you would switching to something more efficient
#1: My AMS Provider Has Stopped Issuing Updates
If your current AMS provider has stopped issuing updates to the system, consider that a MAJOR “red flag.” It means its parent company will no longer support the product. Look at your current system; does the company behind it have a product road-map planned? Are the updates and fixes you formerly received regularly, coming less and less often?
Often old legacy systems have been purchased by larger companies or venture capital firms. When that happens, they will continue to update and support their product for a designated amount of time and then phase out issuing updates. Once they stop updating, next they stop offering support, and then you are stuck with what has become an antiquated system.
Don’t wait until the support stops to start looking for something new! Start looking while you still have a working system in place before all its functioning becomes out of date, and there will be no one available to help you.
If any of these five statements apply to you, we recommend you consider looking into a new Platform. A comprehensive ABP helps associations keep pace with the dizzying array of new apps and social media platforms that your association’s members are using daily. It is also an integral piece to helping your organization realize a digital transformation.
Altai’s Association Management is built with Microsoft Dynamics. We offer the most integrative and progressive platform on the market for associations. Contact us to learn how we can take your system to new heights in this new decade and beyond.