Faced with the prospect of switching from a client/server contact manager or CRM system to cloud CRM, it’s easy to underestimate the net present value of a cloud CRM application relative to the net present value of staying with the current solution. The same holds true for any business application that is served up from the cloud.
By moving your company from traditional applications to cloud business applications, you are wisely future-proofing your company. You are defending your company against the many “invisible”, non-investment costs that occur over a long period of time with traditional, client/server applications.
The long term cost saving of switching to a cloud CRM application from your client/server application doesn’t manifest itself in obvious and traditional ways, such as the arrival of a rebate check in the mail.
The Long Term Value of Cloud CRM
The long term value of a cloud application compared to the status quo has some very subtle components. By way of illustration, here are a few value-related questions to ask yourself. These questions relate to the non-investment costs of staying with your current application.
1. With rare exceptions, a cloud CRM application just works. What’s the long term value of not having to devote internal resources to making sure an application continues to run properly, day in and day out? What if you lose a key, internal CRM system management resource — what will the replacement cost to your company?
2. A cloud application requires only a browser to access. What’s the value of your IT department never again having to install CRM software on any desktop or laptop?
3. A cloud application doesn’t require upgrades. How much money are you going to spend in investment costs and non-investment costs on software upgrades over the next several years? How much time are you going to spend agonizing over upgrade proposals?
4. Your users are not sitting with their fingers on a keyboard all day. What’s the value of your end users being able to access your CRM application on their smart phone or tablet with no third party software needed?
5. You recognize dozens of new cloud-based business applications that would increase revenue or save money if you adopted them. What’s the value of being able to extend your CRM application to any one of these many external offerings with just a few clicks? The external offering could be anything from contact record enrichment to a highly efficient inbound lead flow and distribution mechanism.
The further you look into the future, the greater the value of cloud CRM becomes compared to an existing client/server solution. Cloud applications will future-proof your organization by eliminating a wide range of non-investment costs and by providing added business benefits that are only available through the adoption of cloud technologies.