I talk a lot with c-level managers about the benefits of integrating CRM and ERP for their businesses. Often, they start thinking about CRM to ERP integration when they are evaluating a new CRM system for their company. In my mind, there is very little doubt about the benefits of the integration, for example it will dramatically increase the ROI of both your systems. (see also blog article about Top 4 reasons for ERP and CRM integration). But when we discuss these advantages, I like to turn the conversation around and ask: what would happen if you did not integrate your ERP and CRM systems? Do you really want to live with the consequences?
According to the ITRC Data Breach Reports 2015, over 169 million personal records were exposed last year, stemming from 781 publicized breaches across the financial, business, education, government, and healthcare sectors. If one thing became clear in 2015, it was that no organization, regardless of its size or industry, is safe from a data security breach. A breach can happen to any organization at any time. There is no doubt that companies should carefully think about data security especially today when we place more and more data on public clouds, or within big data systems.
What happens when you integrate two systems? Does the transfer of data from one system to the other expose and potentially endanger the security of your data? How does data integration impact data security? Can data integration make your company more vulnerable to a data security breach?
After a few decades of existence, there is no doubt that CRM has been a game-changing tool that has helped companies focus on customers, and thereby grow faster and work smarter. Having a CRM system has become a must-have for companies that wish to grow. Despite this evidence, you may wonder whether you need a CRM system to be customer-centric… I mean, my local baker does not need a sophisticated CRM system to remember which type of bread I like, what my name is – they even remember to subtly point out at the delicious cakes my kids enjoy so much. In quite similar ways, companies have managed to know and understand their customers for centuries without the use of CRM system... but the world has changed; it is bigger, customers are more demanding, more impatient than ever and their needs evolve faster. And competition is tougher. So at what point do you know that have reached the limits of the various spreadsheets, notes or other homemade systems you are using?