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In the next five years, the biggest challenge that architects of CRM systems face will be how to deliver faster

by Olive Huang  |  November 22, 2019  |  Submit a Comment

Here is my joke about conferences: Conferences are like fish. Day one we are all fresh. Day two we become a bit slimy. Day three we start to stink and day four? – well there should never be a day four.

I have been attending Dreamforce for three days now I feel just like that. Before I became too smelly I farewelled my host and sneaked back to hotel.

During this week when I walked around Dreamforce, I talked with a number of Salesforce’s customers. I was told over and over again “We have to modernize our platform because on the old stack we just aren’t delivering changes fast enough.” Speed is the buzz word among customer conversations. I also see it as an underlying principle in Salesforce product roadmaps, in all product categories. For example at Service Cloud Keynote today I have written down a number of new functionalities that helps customers to improve speed: Mulesoft accelerator, bot package, Einstein case classification and routing, call transcriptions, field service mobile extensibility and a few more.

I believe in the next five years, the biggest challenge that architects of CRM systems face will be how to deliver faster. What does “deliver faster” mean? It has multiple implications. It means delivering faster digital process transformation through prebuilt, industry-specific components, configuration tool set and data integration technology – we are talking about cutting implementation time from years to months. It also means delivering rapid new product introduction – we are talking about cutting from months to weeks. It further means fast and agile market responses through easy configuration of changes to prices,bundles, rules and business process flows – cutting from weeks or months to days or even minutes.

For many organizations, the original uptake in cloud/SaaS CRM started with application needs within departments — where there were requirements for quick deployment, faster innovation cycles, attractive user interfaces and easy integration. Speed was a strong trigger. Agile development, minimum viable product and design-thinking approaches also helped facilitate this speed of deployment. The need for speed has not dissipated; organizations are now putting even more focus on it. In 2019, Gartner estimates the priorities of 40% of organizations will be speed first, then cost and then scope. Back in 2004, CRM projects took, on average, more than three years to deploy. The average in 2018 was closer to 18 months. The 2018 deployment times range from 10 days to five years, however, so averages don’t tell the whole story; but the pattern is clear — CRM projects are being delivered more quickly.

During the next five years, we’ll see organizations intensify their investment on capabilities to improve the speed to change. This will involve cloud software with prebuilt industry components, low-code aPaaS, iBPM, modern integration technology, augmented analytics, DevOps tools and agile deployment approaches, all of which favor speed and offer faster delivery. This will also be supported by an increase in digital skills in sales, marketing, commerce and customer service departments. Many of modern integration and analytics tools provide graphical UI, self-service, discovery functionalities that are designed for fast change, and implementation directly by non-IT roles. CRM software vendors will respond to this requirement by increasing their investment in these areas. CRM consulting and implementation service providers will also embrace this change by adding industry-specialist products, their own accelerators, and templates and tools to aid sales, marketing, commerce and customer service in being more self-sufficient of technologies.

If you haven’t add “speed” in your CRM technology selection criteria list, it is a good time to do it now.

P.s. We discussed speed and other strategic priorities for CRM technologies in the research “2019 Strategic Roadmap for CRM Technologies” (Gartner member’s access required).

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Category: crm-software-industry  crm-strategy-and-customer-experience  crm-strategy-and-customer-experience-for-technical-professionals  customer-experience  

Tags: agility  crm  customer-service  mulesoft  salesforce  speed  vlocity  

Olive Huang
Research Director
1 years at Gartner
16 years IT Industry

Olive Huang is a Research Director in Gartner Research and is part of the company's CRM software research team. Her research area focuses on customer services and support, contact centers, CRM vendors and service providers, and CRM strategy and best practices in the Asia/Pacific region. Read Full Bio




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