The time has come. Your association can no longer delay the inevitable. You know you need to bite the bullet with a software update, but a recent experience with one of your systems was so painful that you don’t even want to consider an upgrade.
That makes sense.
And we’ve all been there. Raise your hand if you’ve delayed a software update on your smartphone for months on end only to find out those new emojis and better security features were mere minutes away all along.
It’s fine to do that when the stakes are low. When it’s your personal device, your decision only affects you.
But what about your accounting software, email marketing platform, association management software or content management system? Those affect other people at your association’s HQ, and you could miss out on a bunch of cool features out of sheer procrastination.
The Pain-Free Software Update Path
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through a few reasons why you should consider a software upgrade. But before we help you shake the software update blues, it’s important to realize it can be a pain-free process.
Your last vendor, your last product — that’s not the norm. Whether it’s called an update, an upgrade or everyone’s just going around pretending it isn’t even an upgrade at all, improving any enterprise software can be done without too much complication on your association’s end.
So your last vendor slowed operations to a crawl? Forget that bad experience. With a few tips to stow away for when the time’s right, your trade or professional association will find smooth sailing ahead.
3 Methods to Curing the Software Update Blues
Method #1: Preparation Makes Perfect
Any member-based organization relaying on a bunch of different business solutions knows how valuable they can be. They’re what keeps the engine running, and help your association:
- Connect with Members
- Manage your Events
- Maintain your Website
- Keep Track of Members
- Raise Funds and Collect Donations
- Support your Community Platform
The idea of forced downtime in any of those areas is cringe-worthy at best. And when that system — whatever it may be — is functioning fine, you just want to stretch your current version to last a little longer.
Fortunately for you, there’s one simple tip which can make your upgrade process a breeze.
Here’s what Protech Associates’ resident upgrade expert suggests asking yourself before any software update:
“When can I have the staff most focused on the upgrade?”
Got an annual event around the corner? Nope, now’s not going to work. Anticipating an influx of membership renewals? Scratch that month off the list, too.
Have some down time somewhere on the calendar? Maybe around the winter holidays? That’s the time to strike.
Method #2: Take Advantage of the Training… If It Exists
Most enterprise software vendors aren’t going to hit you with some fine print and send you on your merry way. This isn’t a smartphone or laptop we’re talking about. A good product comes with plenty, and we mean plenty, of learning resources.
Now’s a good time to sit back and assess your association’s various solutions. It’s also a good time to ask yourself the following:
- Is there an obvious technology path toward success?
- Will they offer plenty of learning tools along the way?
- Will our association get burned by an update that’s not properly tested?
If you shrugged to any of those questions, start looking for another vendor today.
Your staff should have more than enough opportunities to learn the system improvements at their leisure. After all, the more you know about any solution, the better you’ll be able to maximize your association’s return on investment.
Method #3: Consider All Your Options
We’ve already discussed everyone’s favorite: Delay, delay, delay!
But you have one more choice other than delaying and simply giving in to the upgrade.
That option? Leave your current system in the dust.
Go to the next ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition to meet with folks who can help you find better solutions for your unique association. Or, ask your friends at other professional and trade associations. Maybe they know of a solution that will fit your organization.
That said, if you’re not on the right platform, a software update won’t do you any good.