In speaking with prospecting customers and partners at CRM Evolution 2009, it’s never been more apparent to me that the days of large CRM/ERP/SCM suite deployments are steadily coming to an end. Nearly every prospect, both large, name-brand enterprises down to small businesses that we spoke to were looking to purchase a CRM application and take it from there, either through customization or integration.
We’ve entered an age of specialization both in terms of business processes and needs, and as a result, IT technology is being forced to adapt. It’s leading to the concept that vendors are becoming platform providers that give customers the ability to develop and build out a base of functionality into something more industry specific.
The software industry is reaching a point where it’s not about proprietary vs. open source, but rather how much control the customer wants over the application and development of these platforms: i.e. how much do you want to tackle or how much do you want the vendor to do. I think with that comes the comes the notion that large, unwieldy suite implementations are becoming obsolete, and that implementing smaller, more flexible software solutions that give you more direct control is the best way to drive value from any IT department.