CRM Data Still Largely a Silo Apart from Other Biz Apps

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    A mere 16 percent of companies support full integration between CRM and other business systems, according to a recent survey by Scribe Software.

    The integration vendor annually conducts a State of Customer Data Integration survey. This year, it received 900-plus responses.

    If full integration strikes you as perhaps an over-ambitious goal, the findings are still troubling when you look at just general integration of CRM with any other business systems.

    One big reason for this is cloud CRM deployments, according to a DestinationCRM article written by Scribe’s founder and VP of business development, Peter Chase.

    “Our survey confirms what the market is telling us—that for reasons largely having to do with the added complexity and concerns brought to the table by cloud CRM deployments, actual between-systems integration of CRM and other business systems is astonishingly low—just 10 percent to 33 percent,” he writes.

    The survey also highlighted the ongoing use of custom code, with 48 percent reporting they use internal coding and 31 percent reporting using consultants to code. That’s interesting, since a 2010 TDWI survey revealed that custom integration coding was declining overall.

    I’m unsure what this means, mind you — has that trend reversed? Is cloud adoption requiring more custom code? Or is CRM unique when it comes to data integration?

    Whatever the reason, it’s not good.

    “IT’s reliance on custom code poses resource constraints that limit companies’ ability to integrate systems fully,” he writes. “This lack of integration, in turn, plays a role in the CMO Council’s finding that only 4 percent of marketers and 7 percent of IT executives believe they are prepared to exploit the proliferation of data and channels, many of which will remain siloed.”

    Custom code, he continues, along with manual data entry (as opposed to batch processes), costs businesses millions of dollars annually, he adds.

    Chase outlines three best practice solutions to cloud integration, but as I shared Monday, IT executives are less concerned about solving integration. They know the technology exists, and are now putting pressure on cloud vendors to support full integration between cloud solutions and on-premise applications, according to a recent Oracle survey.

    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson is a freelance writer specializing in technology and business issues, including integration, health care IT, cloud and Big Data.

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