The primary drivers behind Customer Relationship Management (CRM) have largely been viewed as cloud, social, mobile and big data technology, but according to a Gartner report they are now being joined by an emerging driver—the Internet of Things (IoT).
In the recent report, Market Trends: CRM Digital Initiatives Focus on Sales, Marketing, Support and E-Commerce, Gartner views that IOT, where sensors connect devices to the Internet, create new services previously never considered.
"CRM will be at the heart of digital initiatives in coming years,” said Joanne M. Correia, Research Vice president at Gartner in an article in CIO. “This is one technology area that will definitely get funding as digital business is crucial to remaining competitive."
Gartner forecasts the CRM market to reach $23.9 billion this year, with cloud revenue accounting for 49 percent. The largest spending industries cited are banking, insurance, securities, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, consumer goods, manufacturing and IT services. Gartner points out that line-of-business buyers have different CRM requirements, with for example Customer Support and Service (CSS) focused on differentiated, cross-channel customer experiences, all while supporting the need for increased use of customer self-service.
IoT joins cloud, social, mobile and Big Data to spur a critical need for more operational CRM, according to Correia. CIOs, CMOs and CSS executives need to work together more closely to harness these five drivers of CRM investments. Mounting pressures on CMOs to drive growth, improve accountability and reduce costs push marketing organizations to make significant marketing technology investments across a broad set of applications and functionality.
The masses of data available offer opportunities all round—provided the data is properly classified and utilized. Above all else, it must be handled responsibly. IoT is contributing to the Big Data challenges facing the enterprise because of the explosive growth rates forecast for IoT devices. According to an article in Information Week, Gartner predicts that in 2020 there will be 7.3 billion smartphones, tablets and PCs in use—but about 26 billion IoT devices.
IoT is driving CRM investments, because the use of cloud-connected intelligent devices is creating new business opportunities for marketing, sales and support executives. To draw maximum benefits from Big Data as a key technology and, in doing so, create sustainable value, companies need to confront the management of increasing volumes of data so they can respond quickly to market changes and utilize the latest information on trends and customer demand to develop entirely new services, and secure their competitiveness in the long run.
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