Prioritize Financial Health with a Tech Upgrade
It pays to replace aging AMS systems with modern association platforms. Here are some areas in which you may experience unexpected gains.
By Chris Shults, Senior Marketing Manager, Fonteva & Protech
If you’re planning to trade in your legacy AMS for a more contemporary association platform, you’re not alone. According to Statista, 56 percent of organizations across the globe cited digital transformation as a leading IT priority in 2021.
Many associations are turning to platform solutions delivered through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model that eliminates on-premises hosting and is fully managed by trusted technology companies like Salesforce and Microsoft.
These solutions help associations meet member expectations, make data-driven decisions, boost operational efficiency, and reduce risk — all of which positively impact the bottom line. In fact, the MIT Center for Information Systems Research found that companies that have completed their digital transformations earn net margins that are 16 percent higher than their respective industry’s average.
A Return on Member Experience
Members have become accustomed to the conveniences of modern technology, and it pays to keep up with them.
In a survey issued by Salesforce, half of consumers agreed that technology has significantly altered their preferences when it comes to how companies interact with them. Furthermore, Chris Adams, Business Lead, Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement at Microsoft, noted that 73% of customers will consider leaving a brand for a competitor after just one bad experience.
“Customers have high expectations of brands,” Adams wrote. “They want to be heard, understood, and have personal, meaningful experiences. When you unify and centralize your customer experience technology, you’ll gain insights to build deeper customer relationships.”
Unlike in-house association systems, today’s association platform technology provides one source of truth for critical business functions, including member management, among other capabilities.
Working from a unified data source helps associations track member engagement more precisely and make informed decisions on how to improve the member experience. Continuously improving the member experience leads to long-term loyalty and the associated financial gains of such strong relationships.
In fact, organizations that undergo a digital transformation focused on customer experience can expect economic gains of 20 percent to 50 percent, according to McKinsey.
A Return on Data Management
If your AMS doesn’t provide complete data visibility, it’s probably time for an upgrade.
According to AssociationPlatforms.com, member and business data should be “stored in a single, centralized location and accessible in real time through a browser-based interface.” This way, function-specific systems instantly communicate with each other, eliminating time-consuming data entry tasks and ensuring information is always updated.
Association platforms built on the power of tech leaders like Microsoft and Salesforce provide a solid foundation for maximizing data opportunities right out of the box.
For example, Fonteva, a platform designed specifically for associations and built natively on Salesforce, gives staff a 360-degree view of members via real-time analytics and dashboards. With this solution, associations can track and measure member touchpoints, leverage collaborative dashboards, and visualize KPIs.
Similarly, Protech, an association-specific platform built on Azure Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics 365, allows associations to centralize data and make more informed decisions through real-time reporting, predictive analytics, and advanced business intelligence. Both Fonteva and Protech ultimately empower associations to uncover new opportunities to enhance and personalize the member experience.
A Return on Risk Reduction
Today’s threat landscape is rockier than ever as cybercriminals attempt to uncover and target every vulnerability they can find — and saddle their victims with increasingly high costs.
According to Statista, the average cost to a U.S. business per data breach reached $8.64 million in 2020, up from $8.19 million in 2019. These costs factor in the numerous hardships associated with data breaches, including reputational damage, mitigation activities, and follow-up actions such as credit report monitoring.
Associations with older proprietary systems are especially vulnerable to these devastating impacts, as cybercriminals attempt to target organizations that are less likely to maintain the latest security protocols. Association solutions backed by the security of trusted cloud platforms like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics 365, on the other hand, are vastly more difficult to target.
Delivered through a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, true association platforms aren’t subject to the same vulnerabilities as hosted applications or on-premises servers. Instead, software resides in a secure cloud environment where it is automatically updated, maintained, and patched. With software security in a cloud-based platform, associations can also employ centralized, role-based rules and policies to control data access more easily.
The Bottom Line
Over time, gains in the form of strategic decision-making, better operational efficiency, and risk reduction almost always outweigh the costs of trading in a legacy AMS for a true, cloud-based association platform.
To determine the benefits your association could reap from an upgrade, try taking an organizational technology assessment, like this free resource at associationplatforms.com. While you’re there, be sure to peruse the site’s blogs, ebooks, and webinars — they’re all designed to help you select the enterprise business cloud provider and software platform that is right for your association.
In early 2021, Togetherwork acquired Fonteva, a platform solution built on the robust capabilities of Salesforce. Toward the end of 2021, Togetherwork acquired Protech, an association platform solution built on Microsoft Dynamics 365. Through AssociationPlatforms.com, Fonteva and Protech educate the industry on technology that empowers associations to deliver a modern member experience.