In today’s tough economic and competitive environment companies are highly sensitive to technology advances, as new solutions can help them to leave their rivals behind. Cloud computing is gaining traction across businesses as an alternative to traditional IT services. In the U.S., for instance, 75% of small companies and 95% of midmarket companies have adopted cloud apps and services. The CRM software is one of swiftest growing software categories. Cloud-based CRM solutions are increasingly capturing attention, while on-premise solutions are falling from grace.
Cloud CRM: The Secrets of Success
There are many reasons why organizations decide to move their CRM to the cloud.
First of all, upfront costs associated with cloud solutions are lower than those of on-premise software. Companies willing to purchase on-premise systems have to spend a fortune on upfront licenses to start using them. On the contrary, most of the cloud CRM users pay fees on a regular basis. It is hard for a small business to allocate much money for a one-off purchase. The subscription model seems to be the preferable strategy for such businesses.
On-premise software involves operational expenses. Organizations have to pay for appropriate servers, OSes, workstations, network infrastructure, etc. Costs associated with cloud CRM solutions are significantly lower. Companies access them using the Internet connection. Hardware requirements for such systems are also lower. So, no hidden costs (e.g. hardware updates) are usually involved.
Free updates are another advantage of cloud solutions. Cloud CRM developers provide organizations with free updates as part of their service. The situation is different when it comes to traditional CRM solutions. Their major upgrades take place one time a year or less often. Besides, users have to pay again to install a new version.
High operational expenses are not the only thing that users of on-premise solutions must expect. Such software requires the complex installation process. In the meantime, cloud-based solutions are available within few hours after the activation.
What are Other Advantages?
Security levels of cloud CRM software used to be one of the major concerns among organizations. But the situation has changed. Vendors offering cloud-based CRM systems pay close attention to security issues. Security levels they provide are significantly higher than those most companies can build on their own. For instance, cloud systems are monitored 24/7. So, a cloud provider can protect customers from emerging threats in a fast and thorough manner. This is impossible when organizations choose on-premise solutions.
Users of cloud systems rarely deal with system crashes thanks to the backup of all parts of the cloud. So, any parts that fail can be immediately replaced to escape a crash. But when on-premise software does not work properly, it may take much time to fix it.
24/7 availability of cloud-based CRM software is one more benefit. It is not a secret that each business wants to be a frontrunner in the race to success. Organizations do their utmost to retain existing customers and attract new ones. They cannot lose any promising opportunities by relying on on-premise software. Cloud solutions can give companies unfettered access to their capabilities at any time and from anywhere.
Cloud-based CRM systems are usually easy to handle. Developers create them keeping the use of the Internet in their mind. They understand that customers can pick up to another CRM solution if they do not like their product. That is why cloud solutions boast a user-friendly interface and easy navigation.
Cloud CRM software enjoys enhanced integration capabilities. They can be easily integrated with other solutions already used by the company. There is no need to maintain a local server.
The Dark Side of the Cloud
Yet, the picture may be not as bright as it seems. Users of cloud CRM solutions may some legislative and regulatory challenges. E.g., countries may have different data protection regulations. National laws may pose a limitation on data stored outside the country.
The complex system integration that some large and mid-size companies need can still be troublesome.
Addressing these issues has turned into a key priority of providers of custom cloud computing services. And the right solution is just around the corner.
Though the Internet access is one of the major advantages of cloud software. It can also become a big disadvantage. Severe Internet access disruptions may lead to losses, as a business may miss some hard-earned leads.
The number of companies moving their CRM to the cloud is skyrocketing. Organizations understand which advantages and disadvantages cloud-based CRM software has. They choose vendors offering CRM solutions that satisfy their business needs and contribute to the success of their businesses.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.