I’d go over to ZDNet for Part I of this forecast (released at the exact same time as this one) if you want to read the intro, the Latin American 2010 Forecast from Jesus Hoyos and the first five predictions for 2010. If you don’t, stay here, root around, comment, tell me what a jerk I am or as one Mac fanboy called me last year an “arrogant imbecile (I could go for the latter but never the former).” Or tell me what a pundit or a seer I am or tell me what you think I should have covered or shouldn’t have or why I’m wrong or right or something. Comment, comment, comment, here and on ZDNet.
Enjoy Part II
- (7)Customer service becomes the leading pillar from traditional CRM to adopt Social CRM practices and behaviors and technologies – In a certain way, this is a trend that doesn’t matter much, since the value of Social CRM strategy is built around what your company and customers need in particular to engage – which may or may not be customer service. But, since customer service is the most emotional touch point for interactions between company and customers, it was the area where the fastest adoption of Social CRM strategies, practices and technologies by companies (think @comcastcares) and vendors (think Helpstream) and social networks (think Get Satisfaction) occurred during 2009. It also is the area that the value of those strategies, practices, and technologies has been the most apparent in both solving problems and even in creating advocates. This won’t stop in 2010. The caveat, of course, is that there will be industries where this isn’t the case, but all in all, this is the leading pillar and has the most immediate impact. Does this reduce the value of the “social integration” into the other pillars of CRM – sales and marketing. Do not be narrowly ocular. We’re talking about the fastest rate of adoption, not the only place that value is produced. That said, customer service will continue to be the lightening rod for Social CRM adoption in 2010 – as a key element of strategy and as a technology.
- (9)Public Sector CRM becomes pre-eminent and actually helps drive the private sector – There is no doubt that over the last year, the U.S. government has made terrific strides in their strategy for constituent engagement. Even prior to the inauguration with the salesforce.com powered Citizen’s Briefing Book to the current cloud computing initiatives that are being led by U.S. CTO Vivek Kundra and General Services Administration (GSA) CIO Casey Coleman, the key to government has been transparency in the name of collaboration with the citizenry. In fact the entire Open Government Initiative (OGI) is defined by three words – transparency, participation, collaboration. See the December 2009 OGI Progress Report for details on the extent of the programs. But it goes much further than that. For example, did you know that the GSA has an initiative to develop a framework that would be useable by each and all government agencies to create a conversation between constituents and that agency? There are hundreds of agencies that have developed engagement strategies that will transform how the U.S. government interacts with its citizens. One note before I go on to predict what I’m going to: When I say “constituents” I’m not only talking about citizens. I’m also talking about other agencies, businesses, etc. In other words any institution or individual that has a reason to be part of the ecosystem that is defined by a particular agency. In fact, cross-agency cooperation was defined as the most important “wish list” request for Vivek Kundra by the respondents in an InformationWeek Analytics survey on Government released in September 2009. It’s exactly that interagency cooperation – between Federal, state and local governments as well as cross-agency cooperation within each segment that is creating the opportunities that are making public sector CRM a top priority this year and into 2010. See for example Virtual USA which is a cooperative effort between the Dept. of Homeland Security, states like Alabama and Mississippi, local authorities and in the future (probably 2010) citizens to handle emergencies in an optimal way to minimize damage and emerge successfully from the emergency as quickly as possible. What makes all of this interesting is that for the first time, business is looking to the federal government, not just for work, but for inspiration around how to engage their constituents (which of course to a business is a customer). I expect a major acceleration around constituent engagement in the federal sector as the culture of the U.S. government and other governments around the world continues to transform themselves and the tools are put into place in 2010 to make this constituent-government collaboration work in ways that have never been the case before. I’m into this one. Think of it this way. Vivek Kundra, Federal CIO, has $76 billion to spend on IT alone. Some of that is going to be going to CRM initiatives.
- (8)Cloud Computing skyrockets to forefront of interest as #1 choice for business infrastructure/platform – This one is something of a no-brainer with everything from anecdotal evidence to statistical support being available to make the case. For example, the cloud computing expenditures for 2009 according to Gartner are in the vicinity of $56.3 billion and that is a drop in the bucket when it compares to the expectation of $150 billion spent in 2013. Thing is, its already being used by a significant minority of organizations. InformationWeek did a study on the use of the cloud and found that the use of the cloud in some capacity ranged from 27% in manufacturing to 59% in information technology; overall 37%. There is also tons of stories out there on the use of the cloud by private sector companies and government agencies – much of it in a development environment. Every CRM vendor in the known universe is claiming to be a cloud-centered organization. Whether they are or not, they are perceiving the need for that message because of the interest in the cloud in the public and private sectors. Success stories on cost containment and efficiencies, visible almost immediate value and just plain success are at the center of the interest. (For what I thought was a good discussion on the cloud, check out my salesforce.com webinar from a few months ago. It should give you some meat to chew). This currently has no end in sight for 2010.
- (6)Niche success in Outlook-based social CRM in 2010 – This might be my most esoteric and surprising but, if you think about, it shouldn’t be all that surprising. Outlook plug-ins which are operating as social capabilities providers or aggregators are beginning to appear in noticeable quantity with standouts from Xobni, Gist and Liase creating the most buzz (especially Xobni). Why this isn’t surprising is that there are 600 million Outlook users which means a major opportunity. Second, for years, there have been CRM applications based on Outlook integration notably 1. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2. Anything done by InvisibleCRM 3. Avidian Prophet. Now there is an increasing interest by even major vendors like Oracle in integrating their CRM applications into Outlook since even with attrition and the lack of consumer interest in Outlook by users under 30, Outlook is going to remain predominant for a long time to come. Along comes companies like Xobni, with their integration of Outlook email conversations and social feeds (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and now salesforce.com and you have a powerful look into both the data and the email activity of the prospect, client, opportunity, etc. Gist is more of an social activity aggregator and Liase a task management capability with social features. However, this is clearly a market with a lot of opportunity. Xobni, for example, has over 3 million downloads and just released an enterprise version that incorporates the integration with salesforce.com and a soon to be released SharePoint integration. Over 80% of the Fortune 500 has people using Xobni inside the corporate firewall due to what is now called self-provisioning (it used to be called ignoring ITs rules about what can and can’t be used inside the company). This is a trend that while relatively small, won’t go away with more and more of these plug-ins that will aggregate and organize social information, transactional information and activity appearing.
- (8)Governance, compliance, regulation begin to increase presence as transparency, open initiatives grow – For the last three years or so, we have witnessed (and participated in) a move to an open conversation, transparency, creative commons licensed activity or other forms of open intellectual property in both the public sector (See the OPI reference in #7) and private sector. We’ve also witnessed a move to forms of technology delivery that give the company less direct control (though enough direct control) over their own data, implementations and administration of the chosen technologies and this is only going to increase with the growth of and preference for more and more cloud-based systems and SaaS products in the next several years. This is no trivial matter to companies. Social media policies abound at companies. Openness breeds fear because it goes against corporate cultural norms. But there is a willingness to at least begin to embrace it as is evidenced by the success of engineer and scientist research social network Innocentive. These 160,000 plus members are there to solve problems for corporations who, to get their R&D problems solved, have to open up their IP to do so – to what are for all intents and purposes perfect strangers who meet at an Open Innovation Marketplace. This is so widely used SAP has its own sponsored “Pavillion” at the Marketplace. Innocentive is privy to what has historically been IP trade secrets. But Innocentive has developed, out of necessity, clear governance for dealing with this. They aren’t the only ones. In fact, if you want to see 113 publicly available corporate social media policies (as of today) check out Social Media Governance here. Well worth it. On the other hand, the pharmaceutical industry is having a hard time figuring out how to use social media and capture data etc. due to strong Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation in the United States. The U.S. government is trying to figure out how to capture and use data to help personalize constituent experience when they are forbidden to keep cookies after a visit from the constituent. These are matters not just of increasing concern but urgency given the demands from social customers/constituents for that consummate personal experience. As a result, in 2010, we will see an increasing and substantial body of practice when it comes to governance, regulation and compliance around many aspects of Social CRM especially social media use and data capture.
- (6)Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM will begin to merge as a concept and strategy; integrate as technologies and toolsets – in a way this is a corollary result of number 3 and to some extent even 4. What is beginning to become increasingly apparent to many of the proponents of Enterprise 2.0 is that customers are increasingly becoming part of the internal corporate landscape – with a caveat or two. That doesn’t mean that customers are privy to everything going on or that if you’re a Microsoft customer you’re going to get the employee discount at the Microsoft Store. What it does mean is that customers are more and more becoming part of the collaboration framework of especially larger companies, though by no means does this mean a majority of businesses are thinking this way or doing this. This is meant to describe a trend, people, not a majority vote. But what it does mean is that those forward thinking companies who are thinking about collaboration with the customers are recognizing at a minimum they need to have pipes/channels for those customers to participate in the company’s thought process at some level – either in the present or the future. Leaders of Enterprise 2.0 like Dion Hinchcliffe are beginning to talk about Social CRM as part of the Enterprise 2.0 landscape. SCRM thought leaders like Cognizant’s Prem Kumar are seeing the reason for CRM and Enterprise 2.0 to “tango” as Prem puts it. Or original thinker, SugarCRM VP, Mitch Lieberman who posited some smart thinking about “inviting the customers into the enterprise in his September 2009 post. In 2010, at least at the level of serious discussion, with some leading edge institutions doing it practically, the blurring of the Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM lines will continue – in a good way. In fact, watch for some Enterprise 2.0 focused consultancies, vendors, and practitioners to do the integrated work in strategy, process and technologies among other things. At some point, the distinction between Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM will vanish. Not 2010, but not that much after that.
- (7)REST continues to gain especially because of mobile opportunities (see #2) – For mobile apps, for small business CRM related apps, REST is a great architecture. No question. What is becoming increasingly apparent is that if you are a Service Oriented Architecture based company or use a REST architecture for your technology, REST is going to be a component of what you do. Sage is the leading proponent of REST, basing all their CRM apps on it, but all the major CRM vendors provide a REST API for integration with SOA and there is no reason to think that REST will be any less utilized in 2010. As mobile goes, so will go REST and you see what I think of mobile above.
- (10 Gazillion)Yankees repeat in 2010 as world champions – What can I say here but we’re gonna do it again. Yes we are.
Happy Holidays to all of you and thank you so much for paying any attention for anything I’ve said and for providing me with an incredible learning experience over the last year – and some true friendship from some of you. You’re amazing people and I’m grateful for that.