The Significant Change of SaaS Software
One of the most significant technological changes in the AMS world is the advent of software-as-a-service (SaaS). While SaaS brings many significant changes compared to the old "buy the software" model, the two most significant are pricing and updates:
In the old days (now almost gone) you bought the software, installed it, and then paid some annual "maintenance fee" (which often brought little to no value). But if you stopped paying the maintenance fees, you could typically continue using the software. With SaaS, you're paying a monthly, never-ending subscription. Want to keep using the software? Keep paying, because as soon as you stop paying, you'll no longer have access.
But you do get something very significant in return: frequent updates to the software. Again, in the good old days, you could wait months if not years for updates to the software. But with SaaS software, you're now getting updates to the software as frequently as once per week! This is an amazing and very welcome change compared to the old model.
At this point, many (most?) associations have moved to a SaaS offering for their AMS. But there are still plenty of organizations out there who are operating under the old model. For some, it's a matter of convenience and/or inertia. But if you are still operating under the old paradigm, you really need to ask yourself what you're sacrificing by not moving to a SaaS offering.