Sharon Mertz, a long-time industry analyst at Gartner, released her firm’s yearly market forecast report for CRM. All-in-all, it spelled good news across the board. As was to be expected, SaaS was the big market driver, with sales increasing 23 percent in 2007.
You can get all the details here; but I took particular note of the fact that Gartner found social networking and related technologies as a trend driving the CRM market. While a somewhat obvious conclusion given the media attention given to this emerging technology, it’s nice to see Gartner recognize this trend as customers look towards vendors to provide them with solutions that assist in proactively channeling the power of social nets into successful CRM strategies.
In addition, I was surprised to read that the increase of CRM in the Middle East/Africa and Eastern Europe regions saw growth rates in 2007 of more than 40 percent. With the increasing rate of former Eastern Bloc countries now joining the European Union, I’m not surprised to see that region beginning to experience such growth, but the Middle East/Africa came something of a surprise. Then again, we have members of our open source community working on various additions/customizations to SugarCRM on every continent…therein the power of the Internet.
I was disappointed that open source applications weren’t listed as an emerging trend, but then again, with social networking, Web 2.0, cloud computing, and whatever other next generation CRM term you’d like to throw out there, all being powered by open source, it doesn’t really have to be.