Some AMS providers offer on-premises hosting, which means you would have to host machines, servers and databases on site. This approach requires dedicated onsite staff members to update and maintain software and hardware – not always the best approach for smaller associations.
A cloud-based AMS is a great option for smaller associations because efficiency multiplies in the “cloud” (where the software is hosted). Cloud hosting allows your staff to access the software over the internet from anywhere in the world for greater efficiency and increased productivity. Cloud hosting also allows an unlimited number of machines to act as one system. It’s an electronic structure where data is stored over many different computers and served up via a network connection, giving you the power, up-time and security of many computers for the price of one and without the hassle of maintaining hardware and software.
Consider these five benefits of cloud hosting put forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):
Cloud hosting allows your staff to access the software over the internet from anywhere in the world for greater efficiency and increased productivity.
1. On-demand self-service – Once the service and environment are in operation, the client should be able to make changes to users, network storage, etc., as needed without human interaction.
2. Broad network access – Cloud services should be available to all devices (mobile, laptop, desktop) over the agreed network (usually the internet).
3. Resource pooling – The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand.
4. Rapid elasticity – Availability for resources will grow and expand at the need of the end user. Resources can also be diminished as necessary.
5. Measured service – Clients are charged based on some kind of consumption (number of records, storage used, number of users, etc.). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.
So as you consider options for a new AMS, be sure to think about the benefits of a secure cloud-based solution. It just may be the perfect choice for your association.
Learn more about how to choose the right association management software for your association with this guide: The Ultimate Association Management Software (AMS) Buyer’s Guide