Choosing the right technology can feel like a round of speed dating. Teetering between too much information and not enough, while determining what is essential versus a “nice to have,” can be downright exhausting. However, while the market is certainly inundated with solution providers, try not to worry – the right technology to meet your organization’s needs and goals is out there, and with the right guidance, you won’t need sit through two (or 10) awkward drinks to find it.

When evaluating the association market, you’ll no doubt see an abundance of small, disparate technology providers. While this may not seem like a bad thing initially, it should raise concerns. Generally speaking, it’s likely these solutions don’t communicate well with one another, and maybe not at all. This poses an issue, as your solutions should seamlessly integrate to save time and increase efficiencies, share key insights and data, and ultimately, create a pristine member experience that is natural and consistent with their everyday behavior. Without connected technologies, you risk overspending on heavily customized solutions, while wasting valuable energy manually exporting and importing data from one system to another. Who has time for that?

It’s also important to remember that technology drives member loyalty. Members are increasingly tech savvy, and a disjointed member experience as a result of siloed data just won’t cut it. In fact, members who see their organization as an early technology adopter are significantly more satisfied with their membership and feel more connected to their organization. Based on your organization’s membership goals and roadmap for the future, it’s essential to assess your current technology solutions and begin to understand what integration points may be missing. It could be the difference between an engaged base and a dwindling one.

Organizations that are most prepared to meet their members’ needs focus on leveraging technology to improve their members’ digital experiences and the right infrastructure truly makes all the difference. The ways members buy services, engage with peers or colleagues, and access content is changing, and it’s crucial that professional membership organizations focus their technology strategies on improving areas that create the most value for members. A seamless integration between technology solutions is not a “nice to have,” it’s a requirement and key in developing and maintaining a long-lasting relationship with your members.