The CRM market is in a state of continuous transformation. From early versions of heavy software packages it has made a transition to lite weight cloud versions that are deployed to client destination without hardware or network installation. Both large and small enterprises are shifting their CRM requirements to online versions for flexibility and scalability reasons.
SaaS CRM has revolutionized the concept of customer relations management systems. Earlier a software package was essentially hosted on in-house server and offered limited access only on office computers. Outside the office premises the sales team in the market had no direct access to the software package to receive and update information.
Moreover, the installation processes were lengthy and customization complicated. These heavy software packages were slower with limited features. Customizing the software to suit a particular market vertical wasn’t easy. Normally one required to buy different software tool to meet different market specifications. With the introduction of SaaS solutions the situation has changed. Cloud CRM solutions are available over the Internet, stored in cloud and can be accessed from anywhere. Cloud CRM helped addressing the earlier issues of inflexibility, non-scalability, data storage and backup, and availability singlehandedly.
Since the software packages are deployed through internet they are liter in weight and faster. Moreover, it helped eliminating licensing requirements and the costs associated with obtaining the license. The lower entry threshold interested most users to convert to cloud based solutions. Moreover, the simple online CRM solutions reduced issues associated with learning curve and slower adoption. Cloud helped CRM solutions to go mobile.
The arrival of mobile CRM couldn’t be timelier when organizations are focusing more on becoming agile. According to a recent study conducted by industry researchers, Gartner Inc., the mobile app market for CRM is expected to see an explosive growth rate of 500% over the number of 2012 by 2014. Currently around 200 mobile CRM apps are available in the market which is likely to grow to 1,200 by 2014.
Gartner has made further observations that by 2014 salesperson will shift from using desktop systems to mobile devices, such as – smartphones, tablets, iPads etc. The average annual spending on these instruments will grow by 25% through 2016. This generic shift to a complete new set of devices will expand the market volume for mobile applications in general. This will spike the demand for mobile applications which is likely to grow to 1200 by 2014.
The shift has been triggered by the prevalence of mobile devices and strengthened further by demand of SaaS solutions. It is expected that by 2016 half of CRM implementations will happen on cloud.
Despite the sweeping change Gartner’s estimation shows that only 20% of organizations will have dedicated CRM app by 2015. Buyers are also cautioned about availability of many poor quality apps in the market in the future. There may also be challenges in offering feature rich CRM solutions on mobile devices.
While offering CRM solutions on mobile devices vendors will be challenged by the choices of free or paid versions – or a combination of both. Problems may also arise in areas of integration between the mobile app and on-premise software.
The demand for mobile CRM applications will continue to grow but the key will be to offer high quality mobile applications that are capable of functioning like their web versions.
About The Author
Francesca Patterson is CRM advisor, who is associated with few companies who are offering CRM service. She has experience in CRM app development for various industries like real estate, insurance, finance, entertainment, education and many more.