CRM has always been an essential element which helps organizations deliver against business objectives while bridging the gap between the sales, marketing & service efforts. CRM is more of practice which eases you to keep track of your customer interactions.
In the present market trend, Cloud computing seems to have touched and transformed almost every aspect of modern business, be it software deployment, mobility, more recently wearable technology and IoT. Research indicates cloud applications and platforms will be at the top of IT spending by end of 2016, with half of all enterprises implementing cloud solutions by 2017. Customer relationship management (CRM) software markets are among the foremost to connect with the cloud. It is predicted that 50 percent of all CRM deployments this year will be cloud purchases. With more and more businesses getting into the cloud, business agility calls for IT agility and in this matter cloud computing is not only a technology, it is a part of an overarching responsive business strategy. And in such scenarios, porting their customer relationship management systems (CRM) is obviously soon to follow.
CRM’s presence and impact on businesses and in the global market is predicted to be worth $36bn by 2017, according to Gartner. This prediction also aligns with its analysis of new business scenarios built around what it terms the ‘Nexus of Forces’ – social, mobile, information, and cloud.
The availability and rise of Cloud CRM allows organizations to think about alternative options to traditional on-site solutions. Also because of trends moving toward cloud technologies, firms no longer have to create a fixed, physical IT infrastructure and network. In other words, Cloud CRM allows all of the company data to be saved, stored, and accessed via the Internet; enabled using a single server or distributed servers across multiple devices.
Cloud computing isn’t a new idea to companies, it has been around for nearly six years now and companies were aware of the route to the cloud as a business model. Many are of the opinion that the cloud is going through a second iteration. The trend seems like more businesses are moving to the cloud. But a survey by the Poneman Institute for Thales e-Security found “more than 54 per cent of the 4,025 business and IT managers polled were already sending sensitive data to the cloud, and 31% of those from within seven global countries expect to do so in the next two years.” Additionally, a new study on cloud computing, by CompTIA’s Fourth Annual Trends In Cloud Computing, found 90 per cent of firms polled have some presence in the Cloud.
According to Forbes, 62% of all CRM software will be delivered via the cloud by 2018. Cloud-based CRM is growing at a 19.6% CAGR from 2013 to 2018. 30% of all application spending is for SaaS-based applications, projected to grow at a CAGR of 17.6% from 2013 to 2018. On-premise software spending is projected to decline at a 2.8% CAGR in the forecast period. Salesforce, Microsoft and IBM were the fastest growing CRM providers in 2014.
The advantages of traditional CRM software are well known. Tracking sales interactions and identifying patterns can increase profits leading to a better and more personalized experience for the customer. Add to it the marked benefits of cloud computing, and businesses can get transformed with huge business benefits. Together, CRM on the cloud offers a substantially positive impact on business technology.
The biggest benefits of cloud computing are the low upfront cost. SaaS solutions are subscription-based, and usually charge per month with no need to purchase licenses and hardware, and can decrease maintenance costs. Updates are also taken care of. These decreased IT infrastructure costs leads to savings that can be tapped into to access new markets.
Another advantage is that customers have come to expect certain levels of service and the flexibility of a subscription model. Today the culture of customer relationship management has changed due to the permeation of subscriptions in a SaaS model.
Cloud based CRMs can be up and running in a matter of hours as they require no local installation. With that start improved productivity, and the sales teams working remotely adds to it.
According to Forbes, it’s been observed that 80% of enterprise workers don’t work at a desk, and the majority of Internet usage is now from mobile devices. Global penetration of smart phones is now at 73%. Accessibility of data which is hosted in the cloud means sales and marketing teams can work anywhere, anytime. It allows for virtual workforces and multinational teams to work through collaboration, thus improving productivity and project management. It gives a competitive edge with the ability to give employees the access to information which helps in speeding up projects. Cloud CRM thus provides for a scalable solution for growing businesses.
Meanwhile, when projects finish more quickly, it allows for employees to skill up in other areas of the business thus providing increased business value. Resources can be deployed and re-provisioned in real-time in line with appropriate workloads thus aiding proper resourcing.
Cloud CRM solutions sync in real time, provides an up-to-date picture of customer data, invoices, email and other third applications. It provides for businesses intelligence through unified company information allowing businesses to organize data and gain accurate insights about inventory, customer leads, and profitability. The advanced analytics collates information from multiple sources through data sharing and collaboration uses data visualization or predictive modeling to aid better, faster and informed decisions.
Benefits of Cloud CRMs are undoubtedly numerous, benefiting companies of all sizes. It can be used to forecast trends, improve efficiency, and increase the bottom line. Cloud computing offers a scalable and affordable CRM solution that enables mobility, real time insights, and better decision making. The business benefits of a cloud-based CRM could be just the competitive advantage a company needs to stay abreast with the speed at which businesses change.
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