SMBs becoming interested in cloud-based CRM applications

According to AMI-Partners' U.S. SMB Cloud Services Study, which examined the cloud's appeal to small businesses in 23 countries, more American small- to medium-sized businesses are becoming interested in cloud-based business application than ever before.

The Software-as-a-Service customer relationship management market currently includes more than 570,000 U.S. SMBs, but is expected to experience double-digit year-over-year growth through 2015. Over the next five years, on-premise spending will only measure up to roughly one-quarter of the spending on cloud-based CRM applications, the report suggested.

"Customer engagement on social networking sites is driving SMBs to pay closer attention to their social communities," said Jacqueline Atkinson, the research manager at AMI-Partners. "But it is the influence of the cloud that affects their decision to adopt more advanced customer solutions. Such market trends are creating the right conditions for the integration of social media with CRM applications for enhanced interactions with customers."

According to Forrester Research, the market for SaaS applications in general is expected to increase to more than $92 billion by 2016. Many of these applications are expected to be CRM-related for SMBs.

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