Adoption of location-aware CRM in the UK will be driven by the uptake of cloud-based services by the public sector, according to a new report.
Public authorities have traditionally been the most enthusiastic adopters of location-aware CRM, although many have held back due to the difficulties in justifying investment in such offerings. Because of the amount of data generated by these applications, additional hardware and network bandwidth are generally required as are staff resources to manage and support such packages.
But a white paper entitled ‘Location-Aware CRM and Cloud Computing: Considerations for Public Sector Organisations’ published by software provider Pitney Bowes Business Insight believes that the growing popularity of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and the need to conform with the European Union’s Inspire directive could change all of that.
The Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community Directive is intended to lay the foundation for creating a common standards-based framework to enable public authorities across Europe to share geographical information.
The aim is to make it easier to set coherent policies at both the local and pan-European level, but the legislation will require data holders to record specific location-based data in an online register by the end of this year.
The report said that the advantage of SaaS offerings in this context was that they could significantly reduce infrastructure and support costs. Moreover, they could be accessed using commodity web browsers and could also increase organisations’ online storage capacity without needing to invest in on-premise technology.
"This is particularly key because location-based data is often very ‘heavy’ and requires ‘space’ in which to be manipulated and used," the study said.
While concepts such as the G-Cloud suggested that adoption of the cloud computing model would grow in the public sector, uptake of location-aware CRM could nonetheless be slowed by that fact there were thousands of on-premise systems and applications already in place that were unlikely to be ripped out any time soon, the report added.