Now that there is an increasing trend towards the use of mobile devices in-company, we are also likely to see a growing tendency to opt for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) mobile applications, a recent survey indicates.

CRM, the next challenge of the mobile enterprise


The use of mobile devices in-company is a topic that has aroused a lot of excitement recently. Both user companies and equipment manufacturers are keeping a close eye on the various new trends in a steeply-rising market. And older management practices are now evolving in tandem with these new trends as well. A notable example is Customer Relationship Management, a very well established market, but one which is now undergoing changes in line with the new approaches sweeping the business world. According to the results of a survey carried out by Gartner Research, the use of CRM mobile apps is due for a sharp rise in the next two years and developers will have to adapt their strategies to the new ecosystem.

Shift to apps requires strategy decisions by vendors

The next two years are likely to see some major changes in the CRM field. According to the Gartner study*, by 2014 the number of applications available in app stores will have risen from some 200 today to around 1,200, equivalent to a 500% increase.  CRM applications vendors will therefore have to make some serious strategic choices. According to Gartner, they will need to decide which types of mobile CRM to support and assess how successfully the functionality can be packaged into discrete apps. The shift to apps will create a competitive advantage for some CRM vendors, reckon the Gartner analysts, but vendors will need to decide whether to provide apps free of charge, in paid versions or both.

Not all good applications make good mobile apps

“Many organizations want to extend their customer service to the mobile platform market. However, the reality is that not all good applications make a good mobile application,” points out Gartner Research Director Johan Jacobs. In order to develop a successful mobile application strategy, IT leaders will need to consider four areas in particular. First of all they should take into account ‘demand’ – i.e. what customers want and what the business needs. Then there’s the ‘supply’ – what staff and skills are needed to manage external partners. Thirdly, they need to look at ‘control’ – who owns and manages the strategy. Finally they must be aware of the ‘risks’– specifically what could derail the strategy and also the other factors that will affect it. These are areas which could really make a difference in tapping an exploding market, underlines Gartner Research.


* Predicts 2013: CRM Goes More Cloud, Becomes an App, Has a New Leader and Changes Name, available on Gartner's website.