It's all in the cloud now

I recently had a client ask me to help them find a new association management software system. They were very interested in premise-based solutions (i.e., a database they could install and run on their own servers). As I reviewed their functional needs and budget, and started comparing that to the list of off-the-shelf AMS vendors in the market today, it struck me that there are very few AMS vendors left that offer a premise-based solution. Almost all of the AMS vendors (with some exceptions) are now offering only web-based “cloud” options (meaning rather than buying the software, you rent it).

Only a few short years ago, most of off-the-shelf solutions were premise-based only. Then as the internet became more ubiquitous, and more importantly, internet speeds increased dramatically, the move to cloud-based solutions overtook the premise-based offerings. Now as I review the list of 40+ AMS vendors, I note that more than half are web-based and “rental” only.

On the whole, I think this is a good thing for the association market. The vast majority of associations should not be managing their database in-house. That’s not a skill set that’s necessary for most associations to have on-staff full-time. So if you’re going to be in the market for a new AMS soon, you can expect to rent rather than buy.

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, 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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