The Australian Telecommunications User Group (ATUG) recently closed its doors, and this morning's news about the Internet Industry Association's (IIA) funding woes calls to question whether that organisation will have a similar fate.
Google, Telstra and Microsoft decided not to renew their memberships with the IIA, according to a report in The Australian.
Apart from the image issue of losing these big hitters, the IIA will be mourning the loss of funds they received from the companies.
Former IIA CEO Peter Coroneos recently left the association after a marathon stint at its head. He was set to be replaced by Steve Burrell, who was moving over from his position as head of communications, media relations and policy advocacy for the Australian Institute of Company Directors, but Burrell changed his mind at the last minute, which The Australian has indicated was partly caused by the large companies' defection.
The IIA has said that it has been struggling with how it handles larger companies, but I worry about whether the amount of associations we have in the technology space will continue to have relevance in the future.
As Peter Coroneos said in his going away speech, the internet now touches everything. It seems a little odd to have an association to deal with everything. The IIA's role could be threatened by normal business associations like the Australian Institute of Company Directors, as e-commerce becomes the norm and not just a technological conversation.
There also seems to be so much overlap between the IIA and other organisations, like the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Authority and the Communications Alliance. As fixed-line providers move into mobile, and mobile into fixed, as cloud providers destroy software, the boundaries are moving and associations based on old boundaries will need to consider where they stand.
Do you think that traditional technology associations will adapt and survive, or will we see more organisations shut down like ATUG did?