Those days are gone when CRM system is considered heavy and expensive solution where the IT team of an organization is wholly dedicated to maintain and support the software. At the same time, in most of the cases, it is difficult for small and medium business ( SMB) companies to afford in-house CRM solution because of associated cost.
In fact, today’s CRM systems are more user friendly and technologically advanced and they provide varieties of solution for small and big companies with flexible cost. They are also easy to maintain and deploy. That’s why our company moved from standalone CRM solution to on-demand Cloud based Mobile application, namely, Relaso Sales-CRM. The following points highlights why companies, now-a- days, prefer Cloud based solution to desktop CRM.
- Installation and maintenance: For desktop CRM, you have to pay for hardware, server and software maintenance. The installation process is also very complex. However, cloud based CRM installation is hassle-free. You just need an internet connection to run it. For desktop CRM, you require a permanent IT person to maintain the software. Cloud CRM also doesn’t require any data migration, software update or complex installation.
- Platform dependendence: Desktop CRMs are dependent on platform. Vendors design it for the specific need like windows, mac or Linux system. But, cloud based system is independent of platform. The same software runs on Notebook, Tablet or Handheld devices. Using cloud based mobile software solution, sales reps can access crucial company data or store important communication details from the on-site meeting with the client. In other word, unlike desktop CRM, cloud based CRM solution improves mobility.
- Scalability: The difference between an SMB CRM system and a larger enterprise offering is quite high. As the business evolves, companies need to upgrade their CRM system or change the vendor. This comes along with the upgrade of hardware and CRM system. The process to scale the software sometimes creates a mess.
The cloud system addresses the scalability issues, however. An organization can upscale or downscale the software because there is no hardware to maintain. Also, cloud system helps deploy the CRM system in an easier way.
- Security: This is obvious from my experience that, in terms of desktop CRM, big corporations provide strong security measure such as data encryption, advanced firewalls, and security protocols. Small to medium business, on the other hand, can not afford such a robust security measure. That’s why they are vulnerable to cyber attacks and data theft.
In order to retain client base, On Demand CRM companies provide innovative security measures. Additionally, big cloud storage providers employ data security experts that smaller businesses cannot afford to hire.
- Architecture: Desk top CRM app is single-tenant based application whereas Cloud CRM is multi-tenant based solution. Multi–tenant based architecture means many clients can run a single instance of the application which is hosted in a server at remote site. User has to pay a license fee for on-premise model that includes the installation and configuration of software and hardware that it needs to run. On the other hand, with the multi-tenant based application, configuration and update is done by the SaaS (Software as a service) provider.
- Slow ROI: For small and medium size industries, a faster return of investment is the most sought after criterion for any workable CRM solution . Another pitfall of on-premise CRM is that the deployment times is longer. The typical deployment time for an on-premise CRM is close to forty eight hours and custom code based CRM solution takes longer time to deploy, typically forty five to sixty days. All of these factors contribute significantly for a poor ROI.
On the contrary, Cloud based CRM is very cost effective. All you have to do is to pay a monthly fee. System upgrade and enhancement is taken care by the provider. However, in the long run, the total cost of ownership may add up.
- Resources: It is good idea to deploy CRM as early as possible. In this way, customer data is getting loaded in days and weeks rather than waiting for months. The quick implementation procedure also saves project cost. At the same time, it reduces project risk which, in turn, benefits early return-on-investment for the software life-cycle. On the other hand, on-premise CRM requires local installation for hardware and software. Also, in-house resource is needed for the configuration of the application as well as maintenance. That’s why On-demand CRM solution is suitable for the organization where IT resource is scarce. Further, for on-premise CRM, extra cost is incurred to the business for incremental service addition.