Research firm Gartner has issued a new report noting that it expects IT budgets to increase significantly in 2013 and 2014, led by both cloud computing and CRM initiatives.
The reasons given are pretty simple: cloud will provide for cost savings and other long-term efficiencies. Gartner posits that CRM investments will increase due to an emphasis on improving customer service and satisfaction among both large and midsize organizations.
While I do think Gartner is right in predicting greater spend on CRM in the next 24 months, there are more reasons for the increase.
For one, I think mobile CRM is just now getting its rightful piece of the CRM investment pie. Now, “mobile CRM” investment is more about devices AND software licenses, so overall spend does not simply benefit CRM vendors 100 percent. But, as companies look to get more sales and support professionals connected 24-7 – CRM providers will benefit from more licenses. In a “social” world – professionals need to access data, or make connections at any time, and mobile CRM has matured to meet this need.
Akin to the above point, social and new approaches to collaboration have changed the way large companies are looking at CRM. At SugarCRM – we are calling this “CRM for Everybody” (which is a big theme of our upcoming SugarCon event). Past approaches to CRM were very much around silos of users; the cost and complexity of large deployments meant decisions had to be made around who gets a user license. Today, cloud-based and open CRM tools can be deployed across a company – everyone can have a license, everyone has access to the best information – and everyone can provide the best service to every customer. (This ties into Gartner’s notion of increased emphasis on service levels.)
Finally, I think a lot of large CRM deployments are simply showing their age. Lacking mobile capabilities, cloud access, simple customization and integration – the time has come for many large CRM deployments to be put to pasture. This represents a huge opportunity for modern CRM providers to land some big replacement deals. This, in addition to Gartner’s prediction of net new CRM license growth in emerging markets – bodes well for the industry. And, in the end, organizations ideally end up with far more user-friendly tools to create deeper engagements with every customer, at every touch point.