Customer relationship management (CRM) software revenue overtook that of database management systems (DBMSs) in 2017, according to Gartner.
The CRM software revenue was $39.5 billion in 2017. DBMS revenue reached $36.8 billion last year.
“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,” said Julian Poulter, research director at Gartner.
The strong growth rate of CRM software revenue is driven in particular by the segments of lead management, voice of the customer and field service management, each of which is achieving more than 20 percent growth.
The rise of marketing technology and the recent resurgence in sales technology are driving the CRM market globally. Major vendors offering CRM suites covering sales, commerce and service are showing stronger than average growth and are successful at cross-selling additional modules to existing customers.
CRM systems typically contain vast amounts of sensitive personal data and are kept for a considerable amount of time, making them a more likely source of noncompliance with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) than other applications.
The cost of GDPR compliance is expected to increase the existing budget for information security, CRM and customer experience (CX) in the next three years. Areas for technology investment include marketing technology, data loss prevention, security information and event management, and security consulting, especially in Western Europe.
“It is critical that organizations are compliant with GDPR as soon as possible, or at the very latest May 25, because when customers don’t trust an organization’s customer data protection, they put their own safeguards in place, like providing false data or closing accounts,” said Bart Willemsen, research director at Gartner.
The Gartner report said poor CRM will lead to a privacy violation and a GDPR sanction. Application leaders need to enhance control over personal data usage throughout the data life cycle and safeguard processed personal data so that it is not used beyond the context of predefined and documented use cases.