Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems continue to evolve impressively and have been tipped to witness a new wave of on-premise and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions in the near future. Enterprise CRM software suites have emerged on top as the most crucial ingredient for delivering superior business intelligence solutions, client servicing and operational efficiency. Contemporary CRM technologies can be deployed in two ways, namely on-premise and Cloud SaaS based models, and through this article we will compare future deployment aspects between the two and see in what situations the two could coexist.
SaaS CRM to oust on-premise CRM systems soon
As per a report by Forbes, Cloud SaaS based CRM deployments may overthrow on-premise CRM suites by the next year and the industry is expected to grow at almost 15% CAGR. Gartner Inc., the information technology research and advisory firm, published many valuable insights and growth projections in its study called 'The Gartner CRM Guide, 2014', according to which cloud based SaaS deployments of CRM could be as much as 80-85% by the year 2025. Gartner report says that "the CRM software market is projected to grow at a 14.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2017, with cloud revenue growing at more than 22.6% CAGR".
The market for enterprise-grade CRM software suites has matured over the years, and the presence of several prominent industry players has made this a multibillion dollar industry. Vala Afshar, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) with Extreme Networks, tweeted that CRM revenue was in excess of $20 billion during 2013, out of which almost half of the revenue was contributed by the top five CRM players including Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and IBM. It must be noted that cloud SaaS remained the favorite CRM deployment amid small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other global firms.
More and more companies are opting for agile systems to serve their new and existing clients in a more ordered manner, which is why there has been a greater focus on advanced CRM strategies and solutions. On-premise systems are failing to compete with the enhanced agility, flexibility and cost effectiveness offered by cloud based SaaS systems. However, top industry experts and analysts believe that both on-premise and SaaS CRM systems can co-exist in what could be referred as a hybrid design.
Why cloud-based SaaS CRM systems are the future
Cloud systems offer flexibility, scalability, less input cost and resource utilization, in addition to unparalleled data security. Cloud based SaaS CRM can be seamlessly accessed from anywhere, anytime through web and mobile applications via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The API led revolution has completely transformed the traditional client management process, since SaaS CRM solutions can be easily integrated with legacy CRM models. The result: Better customer experience, information distribution, operational efficiency, quicker sales cycles and lead to sales conversion.
The growth of cloud-based SaaS CRM systems has compounded due to its ability to provide superior insights regarding sales of a product or a service in real-time to the service representative. The CRM applications (web or mobile) are designed to assist and guide sales reps to take significant action when stuck in a complicated situation or in an event when astute decision making is required. CRM's ability to proactively understand and identify client needs and building relationships is what made it a smashing success that it is today.