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CRM software market worth $26.3 billion in 2015

25th May 2016

Gartner has released figures highlighting a sharp increase in global CRM software sales in 2015.

Worldwide customer relationship management (CRM) software totalled $26.3 billion in 2015, up 12.3% from 23.4 billion in 2014.  

CRM systems from Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and Adobe accounted for 45% of the total market last year, an increase which can be attributed, in part, to the increase in smaller player acquisitions through the year.  

"The merger and acquisition activity that began flowing through the market in 2009 continued in 2015, with more than 30 notable acquisitions,” says Julian Poulter, research director at Gartner.

“This has resulted in increased competition at the top end of the CRM market, with the continued focus of global vendors' sales forces driving good growth worldwide in all CRM sub-segments, but only for cloud or software as a service applications."

Adobe’s replacement of IBM in the top five is the only anomaly in a marketplace staying largely on-forecast, as businesses continue to invest heavily in CRM both on and off-premise.   

SaaS revenue grew 27% year over year, more than double the overall CRM market growth in 2015. However, despite continued investment, new licence revenue from on-premise CRM purchases actually declined 1% cent across the year.

Whilst implementation has been particularly high in the last 2-3 years, Gartner’s research director for CRM, Brian Manusama, believes some businesses might be racing head-first into a number of prevalent painpoints as a result:

“Companies can't afford to let their CRM projects ‘run on autopilot’ or operate in silos. Too much is changing, too fast. Companies need to balance enterprise-wide needs with departmental needs for innovation.

“On the one hand, IT needs to leverage technologies across multiple departments to avoid cost duplication; the organisation cannot afford to support and sustain 100 different CRM applications, because the costs of keeping them running effectively will limit its ability to respond rapidly to the new opportunities. On the other hand, IT is being asked to innovate, and each department can't be expected to move at the pace of the slowest.”

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