Does your technology have a single point of failure?

If you read my work, you know that I have a strong bias for off-the-shelf (OTS) software for managing an association. I’ve written extensively about why that is, but one the most important reasons for using OTS software is that the software is supported by a company rather than a single person.

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to help hundreds of associations select new AMS software. One of the more common reasons I hear from associations who are switching systems is something along these lines:

“We have a custom-built system that is supported by a lone contractor, a guy we hired to do this ten years ago. He’s getting ready to retire, so now we need to find a new system, since our current system will no longer be supported.”

This is a single point of failure. And it’s very risky.

A similar situation is when an association has only one staff person who actually knows how to use the AMS. While the AMS may be supported by an outside company, with only one staff person knowing how to use the AMS, you still have a single point of failure.

So consider your organization’s situation; do you have a single point of failure? And if so, what can you do to change that?

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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