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Technology Success and Readiness Study

Technology can be simply defined as “useful tools and applications to solve problems.” However, the way associations employ technology is increasingly complex and constantly changing. Staff and member needs shift in response to new technological opportunities and disruptors, and organizations must figure out how to balance expectations against their own needs and priorities.

To understand the potential benefits and challenges associated with technology use in associations, the ASAE Foundation, in partnership with DelCor Technologies and research firm Rockbridge Associates, developed a comprehensive study aimed at providing:

  • a data-based examination of how associations are using technology to satisfy their needs and their members’ needs today

  • ideas for cutting-edge solutions and directions for the future

  • knowledge of what drives success or failure in integrating technology into an association’s broader mission

  • turnkey tools that associations can use to ensure their success.

The study gathered data in four phases:

  • Exploratory phase: Identified issues and opportunities associations face in IT strategy. This phase included two focus groups and 11 in-depth interviews with senior information technology decision makers.

  • Case studies: An in-depth analysis of critical success factors for association IT delivery based on a detailed study of seven ASAE member associations.

  • Association member survey: A survey of a broadly representative sample of association members across 14 organizations that shared their lists. A total of 4,831 association members began the survey, and 3,496 (72 percent) completed the bulk of the questions.

  • Sector survey: A national survey of association IT leaders on the IT maturity of their association, capturing responses from 277 association IT decision makers (9 percent of the 3,036 surveyed).

Key findings from the complete research study are captured in Tech Success for Associations: Balancing IT Maturity, Readiness, and Expectations for a Satisfying, Sustainable Future. This report examines where the association sector stands with regard to technology and compares those findings to member and staff technology abilities and expectations.

The research looks at metrics from three conceptual areas—IT maturity, techno-readiness, and member satisfaction with technology—to understand not just where associations are but where they need to be. A summary of the first-phase findings is also available as a free download.

To help association leaders assess their organizations’ IT maturity, the ASAE Foundation developed the Technology Readiness Assessment. This online tool allows executives to complete a survey of their technology usage and support systems across the areas outlined in Tech Success for Associations. Assessment takers then receive a comprehensive report that explains their scores.

For more information about this project, contact research@asaecenter.org.

In partnership with


Additional Publications and Resources

Maintaining Tech Success Now and in the Future

Tech Research Suggests Strategies For Engaging IT Leaders

Two Keys to Tech Success

Tools and Resources

Technology Readiness Assessment