A new study from enterprise resource planning (ERP) specialist ISF and market research firm IDC indicates that businesses developing customer relationship management (CRM) apps for smartphones and tablets are on the right track.
In a survey of 450 C-suite executives worldwide, 31 percent of respondents identified CRM as the most-wanted mobile app.
Mobile CRM Boosts Productivity
Mobility and sales go hand-in-hand, according to a report from Nucleus Research. Last year the group discovered that adding social capabilities and mobile access -- two increasingly interconnected features -- to CRM applications boosted the productivity of sales workers by 26.4 percent.
Mobile CRM is evolving quickly. A new wave of reporting and geolocation features are helping managers keep better tabs on sales activities and helping organizations identify accounts that can benefit from a little proactive management, according to Nucleus.
Business leaders appear to be getting the message.
"Ensuring a competitive advantage and enabling an even more productive workforce that gets access to correct data, even when they are on the move, is a critical success factor in the future and a major focus for mobility solutions," said IDC program director Jason Andersson in a statement.
Mobile apps will be an unavoidable part of the business software landscape for the remainder of the decade, added Andersson. "Mobility and mobile data solutions are part of the core foundation for ICT industry growth up to 2020."
The study also helps explain why vendors like SAP and Salesforce.com have been scrambling to extend their CRM platforms to popular mobile devices like Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy handsets. In recent years, companies like SugarCRM and Sage have joined the fray, helping to turn mobile support into one of the biggest trends affecting the CRM software market.
Business intelligence (BI) also had a strong showing, according to the companies. BI apps took second place in the survey, with 13 percent of respondents saying they want key performance indicators (KPIs) and reporting functionality. Rounding out the top three are apps that facilitate approvals and authorizations, with 10 percent of the vote.