In February 2012, Scribe Software surveyed 300 business leaders and channel partners to uncover opportunities and challenges associated with customer data integration. “The State of Customer Data Integration in 2012” report contains input from C-level executives, business analysts and IT engineers, and systems integrators and consultants who design and implement data integration for their enterprise clients.
In summary, Customer data integration can play a critical role in addressing operational challenges in sales, marketing and customer service. It increases CRM systems’ adoption and satisfaction. Yet, many businesses lack a solid framework for planning and implementing CRM and other systems integrations that would be most beneficial to their business and have the greatest operational impact.
Cloud systems are less integrated than on-premise: 33% of businesses operating within cloud-only environments report their systems are not integrated compared to 9% for those who operate fully on-premise. Although 40% of businesses report increased investment in customer-facing systems in 2012, they still have a long way to go to – only 15% report full integration among their systems. Third-party systems integrators are key to CRM integration success – businesses using them see less risk and greater cost savings than those that tackle integration projects without an outside partner.
It was interesting to that CRM is main focus customer-facing enterprise systems (100% adoption), followed by Business Intelligence (BI) (72%) and Sales Force Automation (SFA) applications (56%). Surprisingly, investment in Social CRM (46%) precedes Marketing Automation (30%) and Customer Services application (27%). The reported under-deployment of Marketing Automation and Customer Service systems is likely due to these functions increasingly being included as part of the CRM systems. I would have to agree with this conclusion, as I cannot see only 27% of firms with customer service apps. This possible integration is an interesting fact in itself. I have seen it operating in the marketplace.
The main challenge as reported above is that, “many CRM systems remain an island in the business. Integration should be considered a key part of any CRM or customer facing system initiative to get maximum operational benefit and return on investment.” Integration across the enterprise between old school enterprise apps and new school social ones is the key to creating the connected enterprise. Application like CRM are the systems of record and the new social tools become the systems of engagement driving up usage and benefit, But this benefits will not occur without greater integration. This free useful report points out a major gap that needs to be addressed within enterprise architectures and adds some useful ROI data related to CRM data integration. I recommend taking a look at the results if you want to get full value from your CRM investments.