Looking Into CRM’s Past to Determine the Future

The fact that Gartner, in its latest report, says the basic ideas, goals, and challenges of CRM will remain unchanged through the next decade tells me one thing: CRM is still about the people and less about the technology.

I don’t find that conclusion surprising at all. It’s hard to imagine, but I think the lessons learned 10+ years ago are still very much being fought today. And although CRM is more about the processes than the technology, I think a big reason that remains the case is the vast number of businesses still running first generation, monolithic applications of a bygone era, the type of applications that are in desperate need of a replacement, but doing so would cost a CIO an arm and a leg…and his’ or her’s job.

That’s underlined by the fact that the study found that CRM application pricing in 2000 reached a peak of $3,000 per licensed user. In 2009, companies are paying between $1,000 and $1,500 per licensed user.

Stats like that aren’t only scary, they’re a joke. I expect those figures to be dramatically altered in the coming years, and if history is a precursor to what we can expect within the CRM industry for the next 10 years, technologies such as cloud computing and open source should be a big reason.