Leveraging Technology for Success
See also Lehman Reports

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Technology Leadership Challenge

As technology becomes a more integral part of organization strategy, the presence of CIO or other executive-level technology position is a critical success factor. Beyond overseeing technical services, the CIO is an active participant in organization planning and strategy development. Technology is no longer simply a set of tools to provide speed and efficiency to internal processes, it is now part of the strategy itself to enable the organization to meet its goals. This was discussed in more detail in the series of posts related to Technology as Strategy.

And yet, most organizations including large nonprofits, do not have a senior level technology position.


CRM and Associations

Is CRM just a new buzz word, or does it really reflect a shift in the way associations think about engaging with members? What are the limiting factors? How will associations gain access to CRM capabilities?

CRM Capabilities

Taking the last question first, clearly associations expected to get CRM capabilities from their association management software or other membership management system. More than half are satisfied with the CRM capabilities in their current AMS, but a significant portion are not. Fewer than 10% would prefer to use one of the CRM-specific products in conjunction with their AMS.

What about using one of those CRM solutions instead of an AMS? We’ve heard anecdotal cases where associations are considering this alternative, but are yet to see evidence that the direction is widespread. More likely, it is an expression of frustration by those whose current AMS-embedded CRM capabilities are less than satisfactory coupled with a continuing sense that the association is just “spending too much” on these AMS products and services. However, the reality is that most associations need the types of association-specific capabilities that led to the creation of AMS products – membership management, event planning, chapter support, committee structures and e-commerce.

Limiting Factors

Assuming an association has CRM tools, what are the key factors in a successful use of those tools. We see three.

  1. Data
  2. Analytics
  3. Expertise

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