6 signs your association management software may be a dinosaur

Six signs your association management software may be outdated.


Is your association failing to keep up with technology? Here are the top warning signs you may be falling behind.


Just as your association grows and evolves, technology changes too. Failing to keep up with technology advances may cause your organization to fall behind in its ability to work efficiently and deliver the great experiences your members expect.

Here are six signs that your association management software (AMS) may be outdated or obsolete:

1. You need to install something on the “desktop.”

In this modern era, your AMS really should be in the cloud, ensuring every user has access to the latest version. Just think about it. Do you use Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail? If so, you’re using the only version there is because that’s how modern software is built and delivered. Your AMS should be no different.

Here’s why:

  • Innovation requires it. To continuously deliver new capabilities, a software company must focus on innovation versus supporting multiple software versions.
  • Support is better and fixes come faster. If a software company has only one version to support, it can focus on one system. It will be able to diagnose issues and quickly deliver fixes.
  • You won’t be left behind. Most associations looking for a new system are doing so because their current software has fallen behind. If your association is going to deliver a modern member experience, it needs to be running the latest and greatest software.

TECH TIP: Nimble AMS is a true cloud-based platform. All customers access the same version, with instantaneous access to the latest product features.

2. You dread the software upgrade process.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. For years, organizations have struggled with the costs and risks involved with upgrading their AMS. Old school software forces customers to wait for big, costly upgrades that are fraught with risk.

Challenges typically include:

  • Paying tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for each upgrade.
  • Waiting years between upgrades due to availability and associated costs, resulting in sorely outdated software.
  • Dealing with broken integrations after upgrades, resulting in system downtime and requiring new, costly software customizations

Wouldn’t you prefer software with lower costs, higher quality, and the latest in technology? Wouldn’t it be better if it were delivered to you automatically throughout the year versus waiting a full year or more between product upgrades? These are just some of the benefits of a more modern approach to product upgrades: continuous delivery.

Continuous delivery is a method in which software developers keep producing valuable software code in short cycles so it can be reliably released to customers at any time. This approach has been used for many years in the for-profit world. It’s newer to the nonprofit and association world.

TECH TIP: Nimble AMS is the only enterprise-level AMS to offer continuous delivery. Using this method, the Nimble AMS team provides a continuous stream of upgrades and innovation without hassles and extra costs.

3. You have to hire a developer to adapt your AMS to your needs.

Associations sometimes choose this option when they have a critically important need that isn’t addressed within their AMS. The challenge is it can become expensive when customizing complex processes. Another challenge is customizing the product involves modifying the source code, which may “break” when the product is upgraded to a new version.

Today, you have another option: a configurable AMS. A configurable AMS allows you to tailor many aspects of the product yourself or through the AMS vendor’s services team or partners. Do-it-yourself configurability makes this a cost-effective option, especially when tailoring complex processes. Tailoring the product doesn’t modify the source code. This helps ensure the configured processes and functionality are not “broken” when the product is upgraded to a new version.

TECH TIP: Nimble AMS makes it easy for just about anyone to create new functionality with clicks, not code – so you have a system that meets your needs without the added cost of custom coding or the risk of “breaking” your solution.

4. Your team is spending a lot of time on manual processes.

Over time, your membership management processes may have matured. They may also have become more time consuming if your AMS doesn’t support process automation. It’s time to look for a modern association management system that can automate manual processes so your team can focus more on serving your association’s members.

TECH TIP: Through Nimble AMS, built on the Salesforce platform, you can save valuable staff time by automating complex business processes (see how ASSH did just that). Without code, you can identify process criteria and automatically update or create new records, emails, and tasks or submit approval requests in a few simple steps.

5. Your member management activities are spread across multiple systems.

When your member management processes are spread across multiple systems, it can be difficult to provide a connected member experience.

In the modern world, it’s important to use an AMS that integrates with your other systems. By integrating the technology you rely on for things like membership management, learning management, event management, and career services, you can support a great experience throughout the lifetime member journey.

TECH TIP: Community Brands offers AMS solutions, including Nimble AMS, as well as career center and LMS solutions, that are part of their integrated software suite for associations. The products work better together to help you deliver a connected member experience.

6. You aren’t sure exactly how your AMS handles data security.

You collect and store personal and sensitive information about your members and employees. In today’s world, you can’t afford to ignore data privacy and protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Union’s sweeping law on data protection and privacy. .

You need a modern AMS that includes the following functionality to protect your member data and reduce risk:

  • Transparency into security and performance status
  • Best practices for data security to prevent unauthorized access
  • Comprehensive user permissions to restrict access to only those who should have it
  • Data recovery to safeguard your data from data storage errors, catastrophic failures, and everything in between
  • Compliance certifications to validate security

Learn more about these critical data security aspects of an AMS system in the guide, “Protect Your Member Data and Reduce Risk by Ensuring System Performance.” Download the guide.

Your association’s ability to remain relevant with your members depends heavily on the AMS you use. Be sure you have advanced technology like Nimble AMS so you can work efficiently and deliver the modern experience your members expect.

Learn more about the key success factors in innovative association management software.

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