The Future of CRM: Predictions for 2019

25 Jun 2018

Just a few more days and it will be the end of June, half way through the year, only 5 months to finish your Christmas shopping. And that means that it is time to start looking ahead to next year and what it will mean for your business.

Within the CRM industry, it is important that we develop features and functionality that will meet the future business needs of our customers. So how do we know what to focus on? What will be the big ticket items in the future of CRM?

Well, I know that I personally spend a lot of time reading up on trends in technology, security, business practices, workplace culture, and basically anything I can that could influence the way companies use their systems.

I then use this information to plan out our responses to these trends. Below are my thoughts on what will be the big topics within the CRM industry over the next year:

  1. Growth into New Markets
  2. Prioritising Security and Data Location
  3. Control over Data and Data Access
  4. Analytics and Research
  5. Mobile Access

As you can see these predictions aren’t always specific features, but rather general trends that I think will affect the designers, developers, supporters, and users of CRM systems.

Growth Into New Markets

I know that when Gartner predicted that 2018 would be the year of CRM, there were those who thought the complete opposite: that the time of CRM was over (we’ll have to wait until the end of the year to find out if Gartner was right, though). But I dont believe it is, at the half way point the CRM industry continues to grow and grow.

I don’t think this trend is going to stop…and that’s not just because I have a vested interest in CRM continuing to grow.

As the internet spreads to more of the areas of the world (and economic areas) that have been deprived of it, I think you’re going to see new, internet-based businesses rising out of these previously ignored regions. And they will need business software, easily accessible business software.

Personally, I am hoping that this will not only mean internet access in other parts of the world, but also in rural and economically deprived urban areas in first world countries like the UK.

Prioritising Security and Data Location

I know I harp on about it, but I think security and peace of mind regarding data location is going to continue to be huge in the next 6 months and all through 2019.

The fallout from GDPR means that people are a lot more switched on about asking questions around where their data is held and what security measures surround it.

Like a lot of Cloud SaaS providers, security has always been a priority for us. Data location has also always been a focus, with us working to ensure that all our data (including backups and secondary systems) are stored in the EU.

There are opposing opinions to this, of course, there are those who think that people are becoming more complacent when it comes to their privacy, but from talking to other business leaders here in the UK, GDPR has put privacy and data protection at the heart of how they now approach the management of their data.


GDPR

GDPR: your data, your rules

We've always put data protection at the heart of OpenCRM. So with the introduction of GDPR, we've added new tools and features so you have the control you need to implement your policies and achieve compliance.

find out more

Controls over Data and Data Access

Again after GDPR, people are even more interested in how they can control access and retention around the personal data they are holding.

In the run up to these new data protection reforms, businesses got their data tidied up, carefully considered who should have access to what, and implemented data retention strategies.

As these procedures and policies are tested with actual use, I think a lot of people are going to be looking for a system that will give them the control that maybe they were lacking from their legacy “simple” systems.

Analytics and Research

This article talks about digital advertising and how it will shift to being more and more data driven in 2019.

I think that idea of marketing being driven by data can be expanded to all areas of all businesses.

We generate so much data every time we do anything and as companies have started centralising all of this information into single, unified systems like CRMs, you are seeing them demand the reporting functionalities to be able to use this information to make decisions.


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Mobile Access For CRM Systems (really meaning access from any and all devices)

I know, I know: the industry has been banging on about mobile access for years now, but this trend isn’t going to stop any time soon.

Cisco has predicted that, over the coming years, the way we connect to the internet (and therefore our business and personal systems/software) is only going to become more diverse.

Cloud software, like OpenCRM, already has a leg up on traditional software, but we all need to do more. Making sure that these systems are accessible on a variety of devices, internet speeds, and user abilities.

I could go on and on…there are so many business and technology trends that are going to affect the CRM industry over the coming years, but I wouldn’t want to a) bore you, or b) give away any secrets of what we’ve got in the development pipeline.

Graham Anderson
Graham Anderson
Before I got my start in the tech industry as part of Apple's UK Mac launch team, I was a professional drummer (notice I didn’t say musician). But once I got in, I was hooked and I’ve been involved in the tech industry, primarily software development, for over 20 years. I founded this company and I now have the enviable title of System Architect (as well as Managing Director) here at OpenCRM.