As with any other business application, the decision to host your CRM on-premises, in the cloud, or as a hybrid model depends on your business needs.
On-premises CRM gives you complete control over your system, but there is a trade-off. These systems must be purchased, installed and deployed, monitored, maintained, and upgraded. As a result, they can be costly, involve time-intensive installations and upgrades, and require in-house IT resources for ongoing maintenance.
With an on-premises CRM solution, access to new functionality can be a long, drawn-out, and expensive process. Also, sophisticated AI-based technology—to support virtual assistants, chatbots, next-best recommendations, and predictive analytics—will not be available.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) options offer simple interfaces that are easy to use and require less IT involvement and investment than on-premises CRM tools. Because upgrades are pushed through automatically, you always have the most up-to-date functionality without significant IT effort.
This includes new advanced technology, such as AI and machine learning that can help you turn your customer data into relevant customer experiences. Cloud-based CRM also offers the convenience of anytime, anywhere access through mobile devices.
Hybrid CRM deployment
A hybrid CRM deployment requires trade-offs in all the areas mentioned above, but this deployment model can also deliver the best of both worlds. However, it's important to recognize that IT technology is increasingly moving to the cloud. Companies that remain heavily invested in on-premises CRM risk being left behind as competitors advance to the cloud. Your ability to provide mobile access will also be limited.
There are so many things to take into consideration when selecting a CRM system for your organization. But in the end, the CRM model most suitable for you is the one that allows you to interact with your customers in meaningful ways to drive exceptional customer experiences.