Some months ago I was involved in the selection of a CRM for my company. The first decision was easy to take: we needed a cloud based CRM. Why?
We are a young start-up so the next benefits applied to us:
1. No investment required. It is all Opex, no Capex. You just pay a monthly fee based in the number of licenses that you order.
2. No installation needed. You access the application just with your browser. This means you don’t need any additional hardware either.
3. You can access the CRM from anywhere (if you have internet access, of course) and also from mobile devices too.
4. No maintenance efforts required. As there is no installation in our systems we don’t have to maintain the software either. The software provider is in charge of that.
5. We don’t have to update the application. The software provider takes care of that and includes the service in the monthly fee.
But we also had to consider some potential risks. The most important ones were:
1. Will our data be safe out of our premises? There is no system 100% safe. You must study well your provider and ask for guarantees about any possible safety risk.
One point to consider is that if you compare the security level of any of the big cloud players with what an average (SMB) company can do there is a huge gap in favor of the first one.
2. What if our service provider closes and stops the service? To be protected against this possibility you should consider working with companies with years of experience and a solid financial situation. So, more homework for you.
3. Can we have legal issues if the data from our customers is out of the EU? It depends on the level of the personal data that you keep but it is very interesting to have your data in servers physically located in a EU country.
If you must use a provider who has its servers in the USA you will have to check that he is included in that Safe Harbor lists.
4. Will our data be available whenever we need it? In this case you should compare the level of availability between different service providers but also the level of availability that you could have with your own infrastructure.
After all these considerations and some discussions with the shareholders of the company we decided to start using a cloud based CRM.
But there are many of them. In another post I will share the methodology that we used to choose amongst the existing offer of service providers.
What about you? Does your company use cloud services? Why? Are you considering to start using them in the near future?