The Move to the Cloud: Why Asset-Free Technology is Gaining Ground

As the way businesses interact with customers has evolved over recent years, it has been important for software to change also. CRM software has become a vital way of communicating with both existing and potential customers, and providers are experiencing ongoing battles to offer the most cost-effective, performance enhancing CRM solutions to customers. One of the more recent developments in the world of CRM is Cloud Computing.

Cloud Computing is without doubt one of the hottest topics in the IT Community today.

Simply put, cloud is the internet. Where in the past, people would download and run software applications on a physical computer or server, cloud computing allows people access to the same kinds of applications through the internet. So instead of storing data, software and documents locally on your PC or server-room, you use someone else’s data platform. All you need is a web-browser, access to the Internet and away you go. Cloud is growing in popularity, especially amongst SMEs. By the end of 2013, it is predicted that more than 75% of UK businesses will be using at least one type of cloud service. It is also forecast that, of existing cloud users, 80% will increase their spending on cloud computing.

There are many reasons why businesses are choosing cloud CRM over on premise, here are just a few key benefits cloud CRM offers:

 

Rapid deployment

Cloud CRM solutions can be easily set-up and ready for use within a few days – a far cry from the many months it can take some client-server based solutions providers.

 

Lower and predictable costs

When subscribing to a cloud service companies do not need to invest up-front in hardware or software. Pricing models are normally on a ‘per user per month’ basis, without large ‘set-up’ costs. This type of utility based pricing is simple, predictable and reduces cost surprises. As there are no servers to install or technical resource to hire when using a hosted CRM, cloud also reduces IT overhead.

 

Agility, scalability and flexibility

Cloud enables companies to easily scale up or down their user count or software utilisation on-demand. This is a big improvement from on-premise solutions which require IT departments to purchase, implement and manage expensive IT infrastructures. Rather than pay for growth that is yet to occur, businesses can wait until the need exists, before increasing user access and software features. The pay-as-you-go nature of cloud CRM means that businesses only pay for what they get.

Cloud CRM solutions can accommodate the instant deployment of new releases, product enhances and upgrades. Users will always have access to the very latest version available as the software is automatically upgraded rather than waiting for you to install new programmes.

 

Security Safeguards

While many can clearly recognise and appreciate the benefits surrounding the flexibility, scalability and low-cost deployment of cloud CRM; it has been much more of a challenge to reassure those with concerns for security, data protection, privacy and data ownership. Cloud CRM vendors have invested heavily in these areas over the past few years and have implemented very strict security measures. For today’s hosted CRM vendors, keeping datacenter security up to par is huge for the protection and privacy of consumers. Cloud CRM is now often more secure and robust than onsite servers, providing a highly secure platform for customer data.

 

Capex Free

An additional economical benefit of cloud computing is the elimination of capex. Instead of the capital expense of traditional on-premise CRM systems, a cloud subscription is treated as an operational expense. For organisations where capital expense is frozen this creates greater flexibility for individual departments to finance CRM from their operating budgets.

 

Accessibility

The web-based nature of cloud means far better accessibility for CRM users – a necessity for remote and field based CRM users. Users from anywhere in the world can securely log-in and access their data, benefiting from real-time information.

 

Increased collaboration

The ability to be able to work as a team from virtually anywhere and be able to share everything from documents and customer communication, through to spreadsheets and graphical forecasts is essential to getting the most out of your customers. Cloud enables users to access up to the minute data from colleagues, managers and customers; thus maximising cross-selling opportunities, increasing awareness of customer activity and improving the overall service customers receive.

 

Author BioGareth Cartman is a business blogger with a particular interest in technology, human resources, outsourcing & marketing. Having studied direct and interactive marketing at the IDM, he now works with a number of organisations on digital strategies.

[Image Source: mnsc via Flickr]

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *