Until the close of 2017, it was database management systems (DBMSs).
Revenue growth is now being led by global customer relationship management (CRM) software however, making CRM the largest of all software markets for the first time.
That’s according to research and advisory specialists Gartner, Inc. this morning.
Worldwide CRM software revenue amounted to $39.5 (£27.8) billion in 2017, overtaking DBMS revenue of $36.8 (£25.9) billion in the same year, the company said in a release.
“In 2018, CRM [will have] a growth rate of 16 percent,” said Gartner’s research director Julian Poulter.
Growth will be driven by lead management, “voice of the customer” and field service management, each seeing 20 percent-plus growth, he added.
“Organisations are keen to avoid silos of information and to obtain a 360 degree view of the customer, said Mr Poulter.”The 360 degree view allows better application of artificial intelligence to make the users of the CRM system more effective.”
The shift comes amid a huge push to “segment-of-one” marketing and the use of AI to drive heavily customised homepages for individual customers — 85 percent of retail consumer experiences will be influenced by AI by 2020, according to some estimates.
The changing face of retail is driving an uptick in CRM sales. Credit: Yuriy Trubitsyn, via Unsplash.
GDPR Expected to Increase Budget for Security, CRM and CX
CRM systems typically contain vast amounts of (sensitive) personal data and are kept for a considerable amount of time, making them a more likely source of noncompliance with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The cost of GDPR compliance is expected to increase the existing budget for information security, CRM and customer experience (CX) in the next three years, Gartner added.
Areas for technology investment include marketing technology, data loss prevention, security information and event management, and security consulting, especially in Western Europe, the company anticipates.
“It is critical that organizations are compliant with GDPR as soon as possible, or at the very latest May 25, 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,” said Bart Willemsen, research director at Gartner.
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 life cycle and safeguard processed personal data so that it is not used beyond the context of predefined and documented use cases.”