CRM: The beating heart of business

Customer relationship management software allows businesses to meet the needs of their customers. But what exactly does it bring to the table, asks Jason Walsh

CRM should be there to serve the business, not lock it into ways of working that might stop performing as times change. Picture: Getty

Think of business software and what comes to mind? Office productivity? Server suites? Perhaps today business intelligence or data analytics. All would be correct answers, but one branch of the enterprise software tree stands out: customer relationship management, or CRM.

When Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston released VisiCalc, the first ever digital spreadsheet in 1979, it had a number of immediate effects. The first was it gave the Apple II computer a ‘killer app’, setting ...