Reflecting on 2017 : 3 trends that have marked CRM

2017 has been an extraordinarily productive year for technologies. A great number of innovations have gone from science fiction to reality in our daily lives. Apple has launched a phone which can be unlocked using facial recognition. IKEA has put an online application that works with augmented reality and allows you to view how a chair will match the canvases of your living room.  And you have certainly conversed with one of the many chatbots to have invaded websites and online devices in the past few months.For the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) market, these advances are already making it possible to anticipate new practices that will revolutionize it. We will present our predictions in a future article. But first, let's go back to the progress that has changed the face of CRM in 2017. This industry which has been booming over the past few years has gone above the $35 billion mark in revenue in 2017. Analysts are predicting that this number will continue to grow in the coming years. With the proliferation of technologies, we experienced last year, it was sometimes difficult to track the trends that really contributed to the growth of CRM.Here are the three technological trends that have been the most crucial to the 2017 CRM market:

1. CRM has been dominated by the cloud

In 2017, the popularity of software as a service(SaaS) continued to grow contrary to the onsite (on-premises) software. Gartner predicts that by 2019, more than 85% of CRMs will be cloud-based. This is understandable: the cloud makes it easy to connect across systems while delegating architecture constraints to specialized organizations like Microsoft or Salesforce. Furthermore, the more systems are connected, the more CRM gains access to a maximum of data that can be linked together.  This feature increases both the human and artificial intelligence that is possible to gain from such a solution.The leaders in CRM have also understood this.  In the 2017 war of clouds, Microsoft was ranked first place and was followed by Salesforce in 4th place, followed by SAP and finally Oracle.  In December, Oracle bought out by its competitor Aconex for 1.2 billion dollars, Oracle made this decision to improve its cloud and with the hopes of increasing its future rankings.

2. Mobile CRM was king

In 2016, Recode proclaimed the end of the mobile application boom. In 2017 however, this statement has been proven wrong by the 35% profit increase for Androids and iOS applications. Furthermore, the global mobile applications economy is expected to hit $100 billion by 2020.In 2017, the world of CRM, mobile applications have remained one of the preferred channels for companies. Access to data anywhere is a very big advantage for companies to have especially for sellers who can access and modify data on the road without being limited to their desktops.

3. AI has transformed CRM (but not enough)

In 2017, artificial intelligence (AI) has expanded phenomenally. Several companies have integrated AI into their products and services over the last 12 months. It is used in human resources, customer service as well as the health and banking sectors. It has even been used by professional sports organizations.Companies specializing in CRM have also relied heavily on AI. Salesforce celebrated the first year of its artificial intelligence platform (Einstein) last September. Following its acquisition of LinkedIn in late 2016, Microsoft now offers new tools that integrate LinkedIn information into its Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement(CRM) software. In December the company proceeded by announcing its plans to expand the options of its Bing search engine and Office 365 made possible by the AI.The technological breakthroughs of AI were eagerly anticipated in 2017 in the world of CRM. We predicted they would be beneficial for predictive analytics, data management or automation. Yes, AI has made contextual marketing possible throughout the client’s journey.  Yes, it is now possible to automate more and more decision-making processes that previously required manual operations. Still the fact remains that we predicted much more progress with the AI for 2017. In fact, Forbes magazine considers AI to be among the 15 most popular trends that have not achieved the expected objectives in 2017.More breakthroughs for CRM platforms are expected in the coming years. To help you prepare for future generations of CRM, our next article will discuss the upcoming CRM technology trends for 2018.For more information, it is also possible to contact one of our experts who can make recommendations on the CRM that is most suited to your needs.