Should you host your customer relationship management software in the cloud? Short answer: yes. We’re going to dive into the long answer soon enough, but it’s important to understand that many software platforms are shifting to the cloud. In the not so distant future, non-cloud software will likely be a rarity. That’s because cloud software offers many advantages for developers and users.
Now let’s get back to your CRM. There are few software tools that are more useful than a good CRM platform. Customer relationships are vital, and CRM platforms reside at the heart of your business-to-customer (and vice-versa) efforts. To make the most of your customer relationship management efforts, it’s generally best to use cloud software.
Computers and software platforms have been disrupting the business environment for decades. Up until recently, most advanced software platforms were “on premise,” meaning they were loaded directly onto a company’s servers and/or computers.
Over the past several years, however, cloud-based software has become more common and is now becoming the norm. Cloud offers many advantages for software in general, and, also several specific advantages for CRM platforms. This doesn’t mean that an on-premise CRM won’t suit your needs. In most cases, a cloud-based CRM will consistently outperform an on-premise CRM.
Let’s dig into why.
Cloud-Based CRM’s are easily updated
Is a software program ever finished? Arguably not. Think of your favorite software tools, say your document processor. They evolve and change over time. Excellent CRM platforms likewise evolve, adding new features, addressing bugs, and transforming to meet current demands.
Good cloud software is continually updated, and the updates are handled by associated software developers. This reduces the risk of an update going wrong, and should something happen, you can be certain that the developers will be working to fix the issues immediately. If a problem were to emerge, say a bug, cloud software is often fixed more quickly.
On-premise software, on the other hand, must be updated manually. Quite frankly, many IT departments fail to keep their on-premise software current. It’s hard to blame IT staff. Their workloads are often quite big, manual updates are time-consuming, and issues can crop up at any time.
Meanwhile, on-premise software will eventually become obsolete. Consider that there have been multiple iterations of Microsoft Office. Some editions are long out-of-date. Still, with cloud software, you generally have access to the latest edition at no additional charge. It seems only logical that an increasing number of companies are moving their ERP software to the cloud.
Believe it or not, the cloud is often more secure
Updates bring us to the next issue: security. Given how much personal and valuable data is kept on a CRM–security should be a priority. Many believe that cloud software is less secure, but it’s often the opposite.
Out-of-date software presents a huge security liability. Patches and updates often contain security fixes. If those updates aren’t immediately put into place, the security risks and holes remain. Cybercriminals make a career out of searching for vulnerabilities.
On the other hand, top-notch cloud software is set up by teams of IT and security experts. They know how to take the proper precautions, and often have specific staff dedicated to discovering and closing weak security points.
Of course, not every cloud software solution is necessarily secure. It’s important to choose a cloud-based CRM with specific criteria.
Enjoy rapid and simple deployment
Installing on-premise software can be a pain. We already mentioned that regarding your IT team. Now, let’s consider the impact for your company, as a whole. A slow deployment means your staff won’t be able to use the software quickly. Slow deployments can also create bottlenecks in training and result in other associated issues. How many sales opportunities can you afford to lose while waiting on an on-premise deployment?
Cloud deployment is often instant. There’s no setting up infrastructure, handling individual installations, or even licenses. You simply pull up your browser, and launch the app. Once you log in, the platform is ready to go. This allows you to focus on sales and business right from the start.
Always synced and accessible
With cloud software, all your data is gathered in one easy-to-access place. You won’t have to worry about local instances having to sync with the primary files. All your data will be up-to-date and current, where designated users can work on the same record and files at the same time.
In addition, cloud software makes it easier to access information from outside of the office, say while attending a sales conference or making a sales call. Just pull out your device, and you have your office in your hands. Given how much time sales reps spend away from the office, this is vital.
Cloud software is truly cost-effective
Many on-premise software platforms have high upfront costs. In some cases, smaller teams might be forced to pay as much as a larger team. However, most cloud CRM platforms make it very easy to scale via subscription plans.
You don’t have to worry about paying for the full costs upfront. As a result, businesses of any size can improve their sales pipelines with a cloud-based CRM system right away.
Conclusion: the cloud is the way to go
On-premise software may make sense in some cases. To illustrate, if your company is operating with low bandwidth or intermittent Internet, on-premise CRM software may be more reliable.
Nonetheless, for most companies in most situations, cloud-based CRM solutions often cost less, provides better functionality, and is more reliable. If you’re considering whether to run your CRM in the cloud, there isn’t any other answer outside of yes.
By moving to the cloud, your company can take more control over your business operations immediately while interacting with a secure and cost-effective system. Plus, you can access your cloud-based CRM software from anywhere, at any time. When a customer needs you, you’ll always be ready.
Ultimately, cloud software is the future, not just for CRM platforms but for all software solutions.