Cloud Computing – How it can help CRM?

In the context of technological developments, cloud computing has ushered in a new era. Cloud computing is defined as the architecture by means of which consumers use software-as-a-service through the internet on their workstations remotely without installing it. CRM vendors attempt to leverage the benefits of cloud computing in their CRM implementations thereby redefining CRM. Businesses are attempting to move their systems and data off-site.

Benefits of Cloud based CRM systems

Time Management 

Organizations have to invest time to find appropriate software, decide between open source and proprietary software, agree upon desired features provided by the software, manage expenditure for acquiring its license, install it on different workstations, manage updates and ensure that the software does not malfunction. However, using a Cloud based CRM, organizations can simply select the appropriate provider who can handle all the above mentioned tasks and thereby save time.

Reduced Bugs

Traditional software needs to be updated frequently. A new update may introduce glitches in the existing business functions. Different departments cannot share data with each other as per traditional operating means since they often run different versions of the same software. Cloud based CRM systems enforce a unified operating model enabling departments to share email, word processing applications and management applications. Cloud based CRM systems support integration among different departments.

Power savings

The traditional server based approach may induce additional expenditure as most of the servers are idle 60-80% of the time. A Cloud based CRM system can eliminate the redundant use of servers and result in cost savings.

Usage

A standard server may or may not be scalable. Additional hardware is a major expenditure for organizations. Cloud computing CRM systems can be up-scaled or downscaled as per usage and may be designed to support customized applications.

Trends

For any business to thrive successfully, it must take into account the latest prevalent trends. Over 69% of consumers in America use some form of cloud computing while accessing the internet. Organizations can utilize this fact to their advantage by offering cloud specific CRM services.

Customization

An existing piece of software often needs to be customized as business evolves. Cloud computing allows organizations to tweak their CRM systems through a friendly user interface.

Sales

Cloud computing has led to the advent of social platforms where consumers take part and express their opinions. CRM vendors can leverage this to their benefit if they create CRM services that are capable of interacting with consumers through cloud.

Consumer Analysis

CRM systems can gather consumer data from the cloud and analyze past customer behavior, determine favorable terms and conditions and estimate future consumer behavior.

Cost savings

Organizations normally had to invest in fixed capital costs (cost of purchasing the CRM software, hardware, servers etc.) and operational costs (licensing fees, software support fees and hardware management fees). However, Cloud based CRM

Conclusion

The cloud based CRM systems have a web interface compared to their desktop counterparts and as such they are accessible from different mobile devices. CRM vendors should take into account the services that need to be created to gather consumer data from cloud.

References

http://meship.com/Blog/2011/06/21/five-technology-trends-in-crm-cloud-computing/

http://www.allthingscrm.com/cloud-computing/top-ten-benefits-of-cloud-computing-to-your-business.html

http://www.business-software.com/blog/the-future-of-crm-cloud-computing/

http://www.focus.com/briefs/how-crm-and-cloud-computing-can-rescue-small-businesses/

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