Are you investing in an accounting solution that is at the end of the product life cycle?
And, if you are, what impact might that have your department and the organization?
All products move through different stages of what’s known as the Product Life Cycle. The stages are: Introduction, Growth, Maturity, and Decline. The golden age of a product is the growth through maturity stage.
What triggers a product’s move from maturity to decline? And, why should it matter to you?
Sometimes the maturity stage can last for decades. The product has enjoyed several revamps along the way – perhaps adopting a new technology platform – but always enjoying dynamic feature set upgrades and enhancements.
Signs of decline
However, when upgrades and enhancements are few and far between, and the enhancements are not resulting in any additional improvements for you (in the context of running your department and serving internal customers) it’s a definite sign that your software product is on the decline.
It’s happened in the past – there are many nonprofit accounting solutions that existed in the ‘90s that are no longer available for purchase today.
If you have looked at your annual maintenance and support bill and wondered, “What am I actually paying for?” it’s an indication that the product is in decline.
Obsolescence and strategic decline
There are many reasons products go into decline, for example they’re no longer relevant or technological changes have made them obsolete.
But often they go into decline due to strategic decisions made by the company that publishes and markets them. For example, let’s say that a company has three products: Product A, Product B, and Product C. The company decides that Products B and C are the more strategic investment and Product A will become a cash cow – receiving minimal investment and staffing.
This is not good news if you are a happy user of Product A. Eventually, you will be unhappy with Product A – or Product A will no longer be available (there are several nonprofit accounting solutions that have met with that fate).
So what should you do?
Savvy nonprofits are looking for a growth product to be their next nonprofit accounting solution for several reasons.
When a product is in a growth stage, there’s evidence of success. Product sales wouldn’t be growing unless the product does the job for which it’s designed. With plenty of organizations investing in a growth phase product, there should be organizations like yours that can offer their first-hand insight on what it’s like to use the accounting solution daily.
When you consider that once an accounting solution is implemented it remains in use for an average of between 7 and 10 years – you’ll want to choose a solution that will continue to be enhanced and supported. You want a solution that provides value today and will continue to provide value for years to come.
What do we recommend?
We recommend Intacct. It’s been endorsed by the AICPA, consistently receives high ratings from industry analysts, and most importantly thousands of happy nonprofit customers.
Every nonprofit organization is different, if you’re looking for a nonprofit accounting solution you probably have many questions. We would be happy to answer those questions, provide you with information, and show you how the software works – contact us, we’re here to help.
Download The Essential Nonprofit Accounting Software Checklist – This checklist covers five categories of consideration that should be a part of every selection process. Use this checklist “as is” or as a model from which can develop your own checklist