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.