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Competition for customers "hotting up" as CRM investments set to rise

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3rd Aug 2014
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It seems businesses across all sectors are finally catching onto the importance of customer relationship management to their future success. Customer engagement solutions will represent the fastest growing type of enterprise application for the period between 2013 and 2018, showing that businesses are getting serious about customer relationships.

The news comes from analyst firm Ovum’s latest Application Software Market Forecasts, which estimate the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ecommerce and CRM solutions to be 10% for that five-year period. The results also predict that applications linked to innovation – think product lifecycle management and innovation management tools – will come a close second, with a CAGR of 8%.  

Meanwhile, Ovum's ICT Enterprise Insights found growth to be a top priority for businesses during this time, along with improved customer focus, compliance, cost reduction and innovation.

Together, these pieces of research suggest that companies are becoming more aware of the business-wide benefits of CRM and are ready to up investments in order to outshine the competition and win over customers.

As for which sectors will be splashing the most cash, the forecasts point towards manufacturing and healthcare – demonstrating their focus on innovation. Both sectors will be nearly doubling their investments, with heathcare spend growing from $12.2 to $22.9 billion, and the manufacturing field paying out $23.9 billion, up from $14.6 billion.

In terms of region, the highest CAGRs are coming from China, India, Brazil and the Middle-East & Africa, while Europe and the USA trail considerably behind with about half the rates.

Jeremy Cox, principal analyst for customer engagement at Ovum commented on the findings: “Globalization and disruptive technologies – particularly social networks, cloud computing, and mobile – have had a massive impact, raising customer, consumer, and citizen expectations and giving them greater power. This, plus a strong focus on cost reduction through IT modernization and fierce competition for customers, is leading organisations to invest in their ability to adapt quickly enough to remain relevant to consumers.” 

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