Gartner Finds CRM Was the Largest Software Market in 2017

Customer relationship management has overtaken database management systems (DBMSs) as the largest software markets, according to research from Gartner. By the end of 2017, worldwide CRM software revenue had reached $39.5 billion; DBMS revenue, meanwhile, reached $36.8 billion over the same period.

According to Gartner’s research director, Julian Poulter, this is only the beginning for CRM. He predicts the market will keep growing throughout 2018 and beyond. “In 2018, CRM software revenue will continue to take the lead of all software markets and be the fastest-growing software market with a growth rate of 16 percent,” he told Information Age.

Trends such as the rise of mobile technology and the onset of the Internet of Things have led more companies to invest in CRM overall, though the specific solutions driving growth fall under the categories of lead management, voice-of-the-customer tools, and field service management technology. These areas are delivering roughly 20 percent of growth.

Lead management, the biggest driver of CRM sales, "integrates business process and technology to close the loop between marketing and direct or indirect sales channels, and to drive higher-value opportunities through improved demand creation, execution and opportunity management," Poulter told CRM Buyer.

Other areas such as marketing and sales technology have been growing as well, Poulter pointed out, and could drive increasing interest in CRM technology in the coming months and years, especially if those solutions are enveloped into broader CRM suites.

Another trend that could influence broader adoption of CRM is the introduction the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). CRM systems house a wealth of sensitive data, and vulnerabilities across CRM tools could lead to noncompliance with the GDPR. To ensure that organizations protect themselves, they may make moves to introduce new, safer solutions that protect data as budgets for better technology increase.

In a separate report, another research firm, Zion Market Research, predicts that the global customer relationship management (CRM) services market will reach $30.4 billion by 2022, growing at a compound annual rate of 36 percent. That growth, it said, is being fueled by the realization that the use of new technologies, such as CRM analytic solutions, have provided businesses with efficient return on investment.


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