Customers are increasingly demanding digital interaction with organisations, according to a report released by research firm Gartner. There’s now strong demand for technology, which Gartner say is driving development and integration of all areas of CRM software.
CRM has proven to be a valuable asset for businesses, improving customer interaction and business efficiency. Services such as online shopping carts can be integrated with existing systems, improving the customer experience by keeping records saved.
“CRM will be at the heart of digital initiatives in coming years. This is one technology area that will definitely get funding as digital business is crucial to remaining competitive,” said Joanne Correia, research VP at Gartner.
Growth looks strong this year, with a forecast from Gartner of US$23.9 billion. Of this, 49 per cent will be cloud-based CRM. Currently, 40 per cent of CRM deployments are based in the cloud, with a climb to 50 per cent expected in 2015.
Cloud-based CRM is definitely the long-term evolution of the industry, as integration with mobile devices such as cellphones and tablets drives the need for cloud based solutions. A move to cloud means that sales representatives are able to access CRM remotely when visiting customers.
Over the next few years, a variety of industries will have large expenditures on CRM, with banking, insurance, securities, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods being at the top of the spending markets, according to Ed Thompson, distinguished analyst and VP at Gartner.
“IT manufacturing and IT services vertical industries will continue to be the largest spenders on CRM as they have the widest use of different types of CRM applications and technologies,” he said. He went on to say that by investing in emerging economies, spending will be driven up even further.
As CRM technologies continue to see adoption in these markets, it’s likely further industries will take advantage of the capabilities of this software in the next few years.