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The future of CRM employees

One concerned user wrote to our Business Intelligence expert William McKnight to inquire about job security in the CRM world.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is one of the most popular applications for data warehousing and business...

intelligence technology. In the current tough economic climate, however, it will take more than just popularity to make the techies behind your CRM implementation feel secure. One concerned user wrote to our Business Intelligence expert William McKnight to inquire about job security in the CRM world:

"What is the future of CRM employees in the next ten years to come?"

William McKnight replied:

"This depends on your definition of CRM employees. In a broad sense, it includes many folks that data warehousing/business intelligence, ERP and other areas would count as well. 10 years is also a difficult timeframe to estimate, but here are some nearer-term analyst predictions:

The CRM market grew by 66% in 1999 and will be $16.8 billion by 2003 according to AMR Research. According to DataQuest, CRM-based analytic applications, which are expected to generate $724.6 million in sales by 2002, are growing at 58% CAGR.

According to, the BI market is estimated to be approximately $150B for services, software, systems, and in-house spending by 2003. Across all enterprise segments, users plan to spend 191% more on data warehouses in 2002, rising to $6.7M from an average of $2.3M in 1999.

One of the highest growth segments of the BI market is analytical CRM, which will account for much of the BI market numbers. Surely, the number will not be realized ($150B), but the idea here is that it will be as much a growth market as anything in the broader space of technology applications.

I think CRM is currently get a bad rap due to confusion between the difficulty of implementing large scale operational CRM systems and the efficacy of the business model itself. It seems the industry is making the same mistakes that early data warehouse practitioners did - lacking true executive sponsorship, long and unmodular development, high expectations and multi-million dollar projects. Lessons learned will generate more publicized successes."

For more information, check out searchCRM's Best Web Links on Career Resources.


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