CRM Largest Software MarketBusiness insight experts Gartner recently found that worldwide customer relationship management (CRM) software revenue became the largest of all software markets at the end of 2017, amounting to $39.5 billion. This overtook database management systems (DBMSs) which reached $36.8 billion in the same year.

Julian Poulter, research director at Gartner commented on this saying “In 2018, CRM software revenue will continue to take the lead of all software markets and be the fastest growing software market with a growth rate of 16%”

Poulter added that the segments of lead management, field service management, and voice of the customer helped to drive the strong growth rate of CRM software revenue, with each area achieving more than 20% growth.

This resurgence in sales technology and rise of marketing technology in the CRM market that Gartner has witnessed is attracting many new entrants.

Major vendors that offer CRM suites covering commerce, sales and service are benefitting the most, seeing stronger than average growth and more success at cross-selling additional modules to existing customer.

The usual silos of information are now becoming a thing of the past, with organisations trying to obtain a 360 view of the customer that can be gained via CRM software. The 360 views also present an easier way for Artificial Intelligence to be applied, thus making users of the CRM system more effective.

GDPR Compliance Impact on CRM Systems

The upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has already had an impact on CRM systems and this is expected to continue over the next three years, with budgets being increased to deal with the vast amounts of sensitive personal data that can typically be found on them.

The data on these CRM systems are usually kept for a long time, making them more likely to be a source of noncompliance with the GDPR than other applications, which is why it’s so important to get this sorted before it comes into effect on May 25th.

Research Director at Gartner, Bart Willemsen commented on this saying “It is critical that organisations are compliant with GDPR as soon as possible, or at the very latest 25th May, because when customers don’t trust an organisation’s customer data protection, they put their own safeguards in place, like providing false data or closing accounts. This reduces an organisation’s chances of reaching the right customers with the right offers at the right time.”

He added, “Poor CRM will lead to a privacy violation and a GDPR sanction. Application leaders need to enhance control over personal data usage throughout the data lifecycle and safeguard processed personal data so that it is not used beyond the context of predefined and documented use cases.”

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