Enterprise users want offline access to mobile CRM apps


I came across an interesting blog post by Robert Desisto, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. He related that Gartner clients have been increasingly asking about offline support for mobile customer relationship management apps.

It seems the clients want offline access to the apps so they can still use the apps in areas of poor connectivity and/or save money on communications costs.

Unfortunately, most CRM SaaS providers do not support offline use of their apps. One reason is the difficulty of synchronizing data and resolving conflicts, which occur when a number of users edit the same record and then attempt to sync those versions.

In response to this growing customer demand, CRM SaaS are beginning to support offline access on mobile devices. They first offer read-only access and then offer editing capability. Device storage limits have to be considered in this move offline, though.

"The irony is the very thing that IT departments thought they were getting away from with SaaS or cloud computing is back and that is supporting local software and data on devices that will connect and disconnect on the network," mused Desisto.

"The claim of a zero footprint is quickly becoming a relic, which is why Mobile Offline is bringing the CRM market Back to the Future," he added.

This is certainly an interesting mobile enterprise IT development to watch. There seems to be no reason why this trend shouldn't spread to other mobile enterprise apps, such as enterprise resource planning. Enterprise-focused SaaS vendors should take note. - Fred, @FierceFred1