AITP Membership Responds in Full Force to Survey
Friday, August 8, 2003
Posted by: AITP Headquarters
There is no greater need for the Association of Technology Professionals than to carry out the original mission of the association while constantly evolving to meet the current needs of its members. Earlier this year, AITP set forth in action a plan that would gain a clear profile of AITP membership, evaluate how well the association was responding to member needs and assess what additional products and services AITP might be able to offer in the future.
The Association of Information Technology Professionals contracted the Market Research & Statistics Division of Smith, Bucklin & Associates to create a Member-Needs Assessment survey specifically for AITP members. The survey was created to specifically explore the quality of existing products, programs and services, concentrating on the association's core competencies of representation, information, assistance and education.
In May 2003, an e-mail was sent to the 3,600 AITP members explaining the purpose of the Member-Needs Assessment and containing a direct link to the survey. Overall, 1,044 surveys were returned completed to AITP Headquarters representing a very high response rate of twenty-nine percent.
The AITP Board of Directors would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the AITP Member-Needs Assessment. The results of this survey have provided the association with clear results that will help mold the vision, focus and direction of the association in years to come.
The results of this survey are now being analyzed by AITP leadership, but the following highlights were made available to provide a glimpse of the major findings revealed from AITP's Member-Needs Assessment.
It was found that slightly over half of the respondents had learned of AITP through a friend or colleague, thereby identifying AITP's greatest promotional tool as the members themselves.
Thirty-five percent of AITP members have been with the association for eleven years or more and twenty-five percent are new members having been with AITP only one year. Long-term members and short-term members currently represent sixty percent of the association's membership.
In responding to the category that best describes the member's position/title, over sixty percent of respondents identified themselves within these three categories: Practitioners – Programmers/Analysts/Specialists in IT (26%), Practitioner – Senior IT Executive [CIO, CTO, Director] (20%), and Practitioner – Middle IT Management (18%).
Responses also varied when AITP members responded to the functional area they work in. The large majority, twenty-four percent of respondents, work in the area of Computer Systems/Operations Management (CIO, VP, Director, Manager MIS, Operations). Fourteen percent identified themselves as working within the field of Education/Training. Systems Development/Programming Staff represented twelve percent of the AITP membership.
Industries represented by the AITP are just as varied as positions and functional areas. Eighteen percent responded "other” with the top three specified industries being Insurance, Utility and Retail. Thirty-eight percent of respondents are with a company whose annual income is less than $25 million.
The survey also reported that half of the respondents pay for their AITP membership from their own pocket while the other half had their annual membership costs covered by their company.
Local chapter meetings were indicated by eighty-two percent of respondents as the greatest benefit to AITP members. When asked to rate importance of association services/benefits, local chapter meetings were given the highest rating, followed closely by the Web site and the AITP Annual Conference.
Remaining on a local level, AITP local chapter meetings are not only the greatest benefit members are aware of, they are also the benefit association members are most satisfied with, as sixty-nine percent of respondents felt very satisfied with these meetings.
Sixty-six percent of AITP members attend/participate in their AITP Chapter meetings and events. Reasons for not participating in AITP Chapter meetings included a lack of additional time, scheduling conflicts, distance of the meeting and a lack of quality.
While recognized as the third greatest benefit to AITP members, another big finding from the Member-Needs Assessment was that an overwhelming majority of respondents, ninety-two percent, do not plan on attending the AITP Annual Conference in St. Louis. This fact can be attributed to new restrictions and less funding on employee travel across almost every industry. AITP has recognized this issue and is seeking to deliver the same educational content available at the national conference in an exciting new way. Chapters can now host a local educational seminar and view the Annual Meeting of the Members via Web cast. At this time, ten chapters are currently registered to take advantage of this new Web cast opportunity presented by AITP.
While the majority of respondents will not be able to participate in the AITP National Conference, the survey also tried to gauge member interests in additional services/meetings the association could offer that may be of greater benefit to the association. If AITP were to develop a "virtual” conference, thirty-seven percent would be likely to participate. If AITP were to develop a one-day event with Speakers, sixty percent indicated they would be very likely or likely to attend.
When deciding to attend a conference or seminar, content was indicated as most important followed by location.
Regarding content, the top three topics members wanted to learn more about at a seminar, conference or chapter meeting are Technology Trends, IT Strategies & Management and Wireless Communications.
Regarding e-mail communication to AITP Members, seventy-six percent of respondents feel the frequency of e-mail communications is just right, while ninety-two percent feel the e-mails they receive from AITP are timely. In judging the content of each email, forty-eight percent of the respondents feel very satisfied and forty-two percent are neutral in their overall satisfaction. While the majority of members are satisfied with the association's e-mails, this finding does demonstrate to AITP Headquarters that steps should be taken to improve the quality of format and content of each electronic communication.
The Member-Needs Assessment for AITP also included questions on how the members felt regarding the performance of the association overall. A large majority of members, representing sixty-eight percent of respondents, are either very satisfied or satisfied with their AITP membership. In the responses that indicated a lower level of satisfaction, responses included no value at the national level, topics are not relevant or interesting, or local chapters are in decline.
The Member-Needs Assessment has been applauded as an overwhelming success, delivering results pertaining to AITP Membership profiles, member contentment and member needs. The results of the survey will be strenuously reviewed by AITP leadership and will be further referenced in decisions involving the enhancement of existing association programs or establishing future programs and initiatives.
AITP Headquarters would like to thank everyone for their participation in the survey and for the honesty and candor in your answers. Because of your help, AITP is able to continually evolve to meet the needs of its members and provide the greatest benefits possible.