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 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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