In the coming year, IT developers will trigger a sweeping change in the approach to customer relationship management (CRM) software. A transition toward mobile applications and software-as-a-service (SaaS) will yield a significant spike in mobile CRM apps from roughly 200 to more than 1,200 in 2014.
But while mobile CRM is the approach of the future, it’s not expected to be a home run for every business. Experts caution that there will be a lot of poorly developed apps out on the market, creating wide variance between the mobile CRM ceiling and what is being introduced to the mobile marketplace.
One researcher at Gartner noted that it’s a fallacy to think software applications will automatically perform well when converted to mobile applications.
Challenges facing CRM vendors
In the course of producing mobile CRM apps, vendors will be faced with a number of choices that will ultimately determine the success of their application solutions. The choice between paid and free versions of an app — or a combination of both — is key for any app, but will be especially the case on the CRM market. And with developers in high demand, talent will be in short supply and come at a premium.
While SaaS is expected to increase its share of the CRM market in the coming years, businesses are likely to use a mix of SaaS and CRM application solutions to effectively manage customer relationships.
But that multifaceted approach will also increase the need to integrate SaaS and non-SaaS solutions. Businesses will need to invest in developers and UI/UX designers that can guarantee quality in these digital products.
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