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CRM Spending Slowly Grows

Research firm IDC recently released its predictions for the future state of the CRM-services space, with a positive, yet cautious, outlook. As the current economic climate continues to restrain growth in the near term, IDC forecasts that combined worldwide CRM and customer-care services revenue will reach $101 billion in 2007, with a 2002-2007 compound annual growth rate of 11.3 percent. This is in line with estimates from META Group, which predicts a growth of 8 to 10 percent by 2005.

In "Worldwide and U.S. CRM Services Forecast and Analysis, 2002-2007," IDC advises companies to get the most out of each customer-based engagement by making cost savings a priority, stressing performance as the measure of success and focusing on delivering value to clients. "Being attuned to cost containment, ROI and business-process optimization must be the mantra if service providers plan to survive and thrive," says Brian J. Bingham, program manager for CRM and customer care services research at IDC.

On a positive note, the company predicts that CRM operations will be the IT area most likely to provide growth opportunity in the U.S. over the next five years. But investment in CRM technology is only one slice of the customer-centric pie. Combined with a strong strategy, implementations will have an even better chance for success.


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