Report: Enterprises Will Rethink CRM

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Forty percent of enterprises with customer relationship management solutions will rethink them this year, with an emphasis on balancing privacy with increasing pressure to support personalization, according to a study released yesterday by Gartner Inc., Stamford, CT.

"Adequately addressing privacy concerns will be a top business priority," said Scott Nelson, vice president at Gartner. "This is going to require rethinking of how information is gathered, how customers can access and control that data, and how enterprises can safeguard it from parties that might want it but shouldn't have it. Legislation will force this anyway, but in 2002, customers are increasingly going to be demanding it."

The report, "Gartner Predicts 2002: Customer Relationship Management," found that privacy concerns will drive personalization and real-time analytics to the forefront in 2002.

"Enterprises will find that customers want to see why all this data is being gathered, and they will expect the CRM experience to reflect intelligent use of personal data," Nelson said. "Otherwise, enterprises will not be in a position to ask for the data at all. In addition, many enterprises have been working to put the basic infrastructure in place, and now they are ready to build on it."

The report said that the economic slowdown caused enterprises to scale back their CRM initiatives and shift CRM project goals from revenue enhancement to cost reduction in 2001. In 2002 there will be a return to tactical projects that will hurt the large suite vendors temporarily. In the end, however, the report says enterprises will gravitate to the large suite solutions.

"One change in 2002 is that much-needed, large-scale CRM successes will begin to emerge," Nelson said. "Many enterprises have very quietly overhauled their dealings with their customers, and in 2002 we will see their case studies come to market. This will provide the validation this space requires and, in the end, may be the most important event in CRM this year."

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