The number of mobile customer relationship management (CRM) applications available for download on app stores will grow to more than 1,200 by 2014 from over 200 in 2012, with Salesforce.com remaining the largest CRM vendor this year, according to a report from IT research firm Gartner.
Salesforce.com reached $2.5 billion CRM revenue in 2012, a 26 percent increase from 2011, while SAP grew 0.1 percent year-over-year and totaled $2.3 billion in CRM revenue. The report noted that Salesforce.com would continue to gain support from Tier 1 system integrators such as Accenture, IBM, Deloitte and Capgemini, which already conduct 16 percent of their CRM project work with the vendor.
In 2012, almost 39 percent of the CRM software market revenue was delivered by software as a service (SaaS). The Gartner report forecasts the market to increase 42 percent by the end of 2013 and projected that during 2016, more than half of the CRM software revenue will be delivered by SaaS.
"CRM continues to be high on the CIO's agenda," Ed Thompson, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "According to Gartner's Executive Program survey of 2,053 CIOs in 2013, attracting and retaining new customers was ranked the No. 4 business priority for 2013. Customer experience management is emerging as a business discipline for marketing, sales and customer service leaders. Every day, these leaders are incorporating more new technology into their projects to achieve their organizational goals."
The worldwide CRM software market forecast, which includes both SaaS and on-premises platforms, is on pace to grow 9.7 percent in 2013, while SaaS-delivered CRM will increase almost 18 percent during the same period. However, depending on the type of CRM application, there is a giant variance in the proportion that is delivered through SaaS, from less than 5 percent for some types of CRM application to more than 98 percent for others.
The growth of mobile CRM applications is expected to result in a significant shift in the CRM market in the next two years, as organizations attempt to extend their customer service to the mobile platform market. Gartner analysts cautioned this trend would force CRM application vendors to decide which types of mobile CRM to support, and noted that in the short term, if there is a rapid rise in demand for mobile CRM apps, there will be a shortage of development skills.
"IT leaders should weigh the benefits of accessibility with usability—the choice will depend on corporate policies for smartphones and tablets, Johan Jacobs, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. “Besides, they should focus first on getting the performance right, as it's critical for users and ensure that the page design and the content does not get crowded with rich media that takes a long time to load."
The rise in CRM adoption extends from the enterprise down to the small and midsize business (SMB) market, and as small businesses become more savvy in their use of marketing, analytics and forecasting, CRM applications are finding a home among midmarket companies, according to a January survey of more than 300 organizations conducted by CRM data integration specialist Scribe Software.