Outsourcing Your Tech Dept. with Hosted CRM
So a lot of us now know that customer relationship management or CRM solutions can really change the ways that businesses interact with customers, suppliers and even employees. But what about another critical piece of how specific kinds of tools, namely hosted and cloud-based CRM services, allow businesses to change what happens in their offices on a daily basis? Even though there’s a ton of talk about cloud out there in the convention halls, it can be hard for business leaders to sift through and really identify what’s in it for them. However, there’s one thing most kinds of shops can count on: for those that still struggle with outfitting “legacy networks” with new apps and tools, a hosted solution can take care of a lot of that angst.
The Travails of On-Site IT
One big benefit of hosted CRM and other similar products and services is related to something that’s become an infamous part of the business world since, say, the late 1980s. A dedicated IT department, stuffed with folks called ‘techies’ or ‘geeks,’ is only about as old as the rise of the modern computer, which, in terms of human evolution, is pretty new. However, to many of those who work in a modern office, the kinds of miscommunications, busywork and tug-of-wars between an IT department and other areas of the company are as old as the hills. So how can cloud-based, hosted vendor solutions help?
Via the principle of software-as-a-service, hosted solutions allow companies to do less intensive tech work on-site. This includes finagling software licenses, but it also includes a lot of the very fundamental work that IT staffers have always done in a given business day, including managing patches, version upgrades and other changes, and creating dynamic access and authorization models for a corporate IT platform.
Then there’s the issue of security. With the off-site security provided by the best hosted systems, individual workers no longer have to let IT people sit down at their desks to struggle with a firewall, some kinds of wireless router passcodes, specific application clearances, or any other kinds of necessary security that used to be initiated on the client side, within the actual physical network that was set up in a ‘non-tech’ business office. With solutions where security is built into the delivery, busy workers no longer have to hear so many conversations like these:
“How long will it take?
Why, do you want to do it yourself?
No, I can’t do it myself. How long will it take you, out of interest?
It’ll take as long as it takes.
Right, how long did it take last time you did this?
This, and the rest of this hilarious exchange, illustrate a principle that now belongs more to the 1990s than it does to the rest of this decade: that the only way to continually maintain a network was to send in “guys from the basement” to take over desk chairs for, yes, often unknown periods of time. The emergence of hosted software turns this on its head: now, most of the stuff that had to be ‘manually’ put into a work station or network can be streamed in directly over the web. Take a look at what hosted CRM can do for your business, as just as importantly, how it can replace some of the old legacy systems that have your clerical people and your IT people reluctantly trading places.
Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer covering technology and business solutions at Techopedia, Business Finance Store and Ringio, focusing on emerging trends in IT services.