Cloud Leading the Way for Small Businesses to Deploy CRM
June 26, 2012
A recent survey conducted by Dell Cloud Business Applications and Techaisle show a dramatic increase in small businesses adopting CRM applications. Historically, these companies have been slower to embrace CRM applications than many industry analysts expected.
"What makes CRM attractive to small business is the so-called consumerization of IT," ZDNet's Paul Greenberg explained. "While this concept is typically discussed when enterprise IT departments are being hammered, or someone is commenting on the accession of lines of business to the technology budget throne, it does apply to small business but in a different way." Greenberg asserts that the continued acceptance of cloud technology has directly enabled CRM to be more accessible to budget-conscious small businesses.
“Once a small business adopts CRM, they are enthusiastic about the technology and, in many cases, "love" what the platform brings to their organizations. What fascinates me about this market isn’t its potential for CRM – all markets with customers have potential for CRM - but that even though small business owners have been slow to embrace it, once they do they really, really do," Greenberg added. "The enthusiasm for CRM that I’ve seen from this crowd generally exceeds anything I've seen from an enterprise gathering."
Cloud computing has made it possible for organizations of all sizes to adopt CRM on a wider scale. However, many companies differ on the definition of “cloud”. IT staffing firm TEKSystems recently conducted a survey of more than 1,500 IT decision-makers and found that nearly 80 percent believe the cloud includes web services and 70 percent cited Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). In reality, any server that is not within a company’s own walls is a cloud-based server, and applications can be designed to use such a server by employing a number of different technologies.
What organizations do agree on, however, is that the cloud benefits many areas of their businesses. The survey found that the top cloud applications among those polled included Project Management, CRM, data storage, conferencing tools, enterprise portals and messaging.
The bottom line is that smaller companies are now jumping on the CRM-wagon and embracing the features and benefits that application allows. Adding capabilities to a CRM system such as project and service management provides additional options for small businesses looking for cloud-based and mobile tools that allow them to track and manage projects and profitability at a lower initial cost and without the IT headaches associated with having your own server.