There is a lot of mis-information regarding online church software.
With the buzz of online church software comes a lot of misunderstandings and myths. Over anxious sales people working high pressure jobs at large online church software companies are prone to mislead their prospects. As a result, there are some myths to clear up:
Myth 1: “With online church software you don’t need an I.T. department or servers or computers or anything!
Truth: First of all you still need to get computers (we’ve really had people say this though). As far as servers and I.T. staff, it really depends on the program and on your existing staff. Most of the online church software programs are extremely difficult to use, and there fore you will need ready assistance for your staff and volunteers. The most affordable assistance is to hire a professional who makes it their job to achieve full compliance across all your departments to use the new software. Most of the testimonials and reviews for the online church software programs are littered with people complaining that they still needed a pretty large I.T. staff after deploying their new program.
Myth 2: Online church software is unreliable because the internet is unreliable
Truth: The internet is pretty stinking reliable. Your Internet service provider might not be reliable, or your router might not be reliable, or your wifi-capability on your computer or device might not be reliable, but the internet is amazingly reliable. The reality is you may have a slower, slightly more frustrating experience using online church software (as you wait for pages to load or the software to send bits of data 3,000 miles away and back), but as far as reliability, that’s really not an issue. We now live in an era where high-speed, high-quality, internet service is ubiquitous in our society. If you’re considering online church software, however, you may want to consider upgrading your on-campus routers/servers to provide a better signal to the workstations/tablets that will be using it.
Myth 3:”Online church software is cheaper” or “Locally installed software is cheaper”
Truth: Either can be very expensive. It really depends on the size of your church. Most online church software programs require a large upfront fee, along with very expensive monthly subscription and maintenance fees. The amount of the monthly fee is usually tied directly to the number of people who go to your church, and any churches over 100 people will most likely be paying large fees. Locally installed church software is usually not priced based on the size of the church (accept for discounts for small churches or church plants). However, locally installed software can be more pricey if you want to run it on a lot of computers on your church network, and if you don’t have server, but want to use sophisticated networking capabilities.
Myth 4: “Online church software is not a safe place for our data”
Truth: This totally depends on what company you use, and what measures they have taken to secure their database environment. Some online church software companies are not very good at keeping data safe and others have taken many redundant safety measures. If your provider is using something like Amazon to store data in the cloud, you can bet it’s pretty safe, as Amazon has much more critical clients than you (hospitals, universities, govt departments) using its services. You certainly do want to investigate, however, and make sure that the company you choose is taking good care of your data, and that, if you want, you have a relatively easy way to export your data to a local machine.
Myth 5:”Online church software is easier to use”
Truth: actually, in many cases web-based church software or online church software can be a lot more difficult to use, with a lot steeper learning curve. Many of the online programs are in-fact a suite of “services”, each of which takes a lot of time to learn, and many of which do not “talk” to each other very well.