META: CRM confidence to grow in 2003

Growing confidence in customer relationship management (CRM) services will lead to a slight rise in CRM projects within the new year, according to findings from META Group Canada released Monday.

According to META, previous failed CRM implementations within the enterprise have fostered a low level of confidence with regard to CRM service providers. As part of its METAspectrum evaluation, the Toronto-based consulting firm reported that organizations that have put off CRM projects in 2001 and 2002 will be “more inclined” to pick up where they left off, resulting in CRM services growth of up to 6 per cent in 2003, reaching 8 to 10 per cent in 2004 and 2005.

This is due to a gradual market shift – fewer enterprises are investing in large, enterprise-wide CRM ventures and are moving forward with smaller, shorter, and more tactical projects, META said.

The study also found that CRM service providers have “evolved beyond the notion that CRM excellence can be achieved through software implementation and have instead focused on value creation.”

More vendors are restructuring their CRM strategy, META said, from an enterprise-wide scale to a more tactical, value-based approach, taking into account end-user maturity levels, short-term needs, and long-term visions.

“Best-in-class IT organizations understand that CRM excellence is not predicated on software implementations alone…clients can have greater success when they tap outside consulting services for these areas,” said Michael Doane, META Group vice-president of professional services strategies in a prepared statement.