Choosing the right CRM solution is very crucial for the success of a business. If your CRM solution is capable of handling healthy business relationships with your customers, it gets easier to perform various business related tasks and generate higher revenues. Providing support services, handling complaints, automated customer outreach and sales conversion, and tracking customer behavior and customizing sales process accordingly are a few of things your CRM can do for you.
Given the growing importance of customers and the demand for a system to manage them effectively, there has been a tremendous growth in the CRM industry and customers now have plenty of options to choose from. And the confusion begins when you ask yourself whether you should go for a SaaS (Cloud Software as a service) or an On-premises CRM solution? In this blog, we will discuss about the workability of both these CRM solutions considering different factors and criteria, to help you decide on which CRM solution you should go for.
An On-premise CRM solution is part of your company’s hardware. It is done locally and is to be managed by your IT staff while Cloud based, SaaS CRM is provided by vendors as one of their services. Let’s see how these solutions perform on different fronts:
The cost of investment and maintenance of any particular process is something that you can’t ignore. A SaaS CRM solution may be a financially better deal for small to medium enterprises that have a budget crunch and a few users who would use the CRM system, since most SaaS CRMs charge on the basis of number of users. An on-premise CRM would require fulfilling some legislative jurisdiction to host own data, apart from infrastructure costs. SaaS would be a feasible solution for enterprises low on IT staff to administer the support the business CRM system over a long period and have no disaster recovery plan. A SaaS system would speed up a CRM implementation process and not only save cost on the installation and operations cost but also enhance output within a shorter span of time.
On the other hand, on-premise CRM would incur heavy expenses towards installation, operations and maintenance. A dedicated IT staff would be required for it and in case of complex installations the company may require hiring experts from outside for maintaining and upgrading the systems. There are many such third party CRM service providers in the market. However before approaching any service provider, you should understand clearly the cost vs benefits on on-premise CRM installation. Again many finance related projections would stress that CRM software has a huge risk of becoming outdated and redundant within 5 years. So it is a weighted decision.
Companies are often skeptical about data storage off premises. And for some that may be a deal breaker when it comes to SaaS based solutions vis-a-vis on-premise CRM. Mostly we see that customer list and future sale forecast data are most vulnerable to theft or vandalism. So data safety solutions along with other features is one of the USPs for any CRM solution. A third party audit as per ISO 27001 for CRM data protection and damage recovery solution provided by vendors is a value addition that enhances SaaS salability. Off premises data security requires a meticulous background check on risk analysis, data backup and recovery, layered firewalls and other coded protections and lastly a good team to handle contingencies. So if you are not sure how secure your data with be with a SaaS provider, go with a on-premise CRM solution so you can keep all your data secure.
On premises CRM solutions are preferable for large enterprises that have large data volumes that necessitate complex system integration. Data integration is a complex issue that requires expert handling. Huge data chunks, web compatibility, cross platform firewall integrations not only make data integration difficult but also drive the cost up. Mostly on premises CRM systems needs to be integrated with the existing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software or back office accounting applications, customized billing software or other modular software that are essential for running the enterprise smoothly. An integration failure can lead to data disruption throughout the enterprise. It may result in a setback where we may have to go back to manual data entry that would cause data inaccuracies and irreparable damage to the enterprise.
On premise CRM installation would require heavy investment on infrastructure in the form of hardware installation. A multi modular CRM hardware installation would be cost intensive. In case of outdating of a CRM software or availability of better CRM software in the market on a later date would render a recurrent cost of hardware updating that would be compatible with the CRM software. A SaaS based solution, if found compatible with the requirements of the business enterprise, can save money and time. One has to be very careful towards choosing the vendor and the best available solution in the market that would stand the test of time.
On premises CRM have good offline capability. Talking of offline capability means an adaptable system that can integrate with various back office modules. Running such a system would require dedicated system maintenance with a good amount of operating cost. However such an on premise system would be superior in quality with better data security as well as data flow within the enterprise. A big enterprise can generate return on investment depending on the scale of utility and widespread application throughout the enterprise. Such on premise systems can operate quite independently without constant availability or reliability on World Wide Web facility. Again it would also reduce vulnerability towards data theft or data damage due to hacking or intrusion by malicious programs with harmful intentions. A SaaS based solution, on the other hand, can be preferred if you don’t have much offline dependability.
So what Should You Choose?
Both the CRM solutions have their own advantages and disadvantages like two sides of a coin. If you have space, staff, and will to invest on infrastructure, you can go for on-premise CRM solution. On the other hand, if online credibility works for you, there is nothing as feasible as a SaaS based CRM solution, especially if you don’t need too many users to log into the system. If you are still finding it difficult to select the right CRM solution for yourself, get in touch with us and we will help you choose the right CRM.