CRM migration: when is a system change worthwhile?

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4 min read

Legacy systems roam the IT infrastructure of many companies and more often then not, overstay their welcome. CRM systems can be heavy on the budget and affect productivity of many business units and therefore should be checked regularly if they are still up for the job or need an update or even replacement. But when is it time to replace the old CRM and invite a new one?

Are you happy with your CRM solution? Yes - 33% / No - 9% / Could be better - 58% - DIGITALL

(Results of a LinkedIn survey on the DIGITALL account)

standardization of processes

Some CRM market leaders are popular because they offer everything from a single source. That way, processes can be set up in a standardized way. Homogeneous processes are particularly advantageous and increase collaboration when different divisions of a company, international offices, branches or partners work closely together. Sources of error are reduced and reports can be shared and adapted for different business units, since they come from a single source.

compatibility with other applications

Hardly any older company simply uses the standard software of the provider. It is quite normal that individual solutions and functions are added over the years, some of which are developed in-house. However, sometimes a new update creates a situation where these solutions are no longer compatible and require alternatives or another system that still promises compatibility.

consolidation of data

One of the biggest challenges with the greatest profit is the consolidation of all data to guarantee the 360° customer view. Often, data gets stuck in the individual systems and creates silos. With the CRM of a provider, whose marketing or service solution is already in use, data can be consolidated much easier.

A new system might also enable new ways to synchronize data through interfaces (more on this below), in real time and with a single taxonomy.

scope of functions

Sometimes, a company grows out of its "old" CRM or needs new or different functions. With the growing diversity of CRM solutions, it's more likely that the grass is greener on the other CRM side. For example, some CRM systems are more beneficial than others for certain industries, target groups, purposes, or compliance requirements. Or a CRM system allows many more apps, add-ons or interfaces.

from on-premise to the cloud

A cloud-based CRM can revolutionize virtual and mobile working. From real-time synchronization of on-site customer conversations to remote work, the cloud enables centralized, digital data storage and a workplace that travels with the employee. Cloudbased apps in particular offer many new ways for both customers and employees to interact with your company.

UX (for employees and partners)

Clumsy systems that are impenetrable are a thing of the past. Digitization also brings with it a democratization of software by making it increasingly user-friendly. The focus should not only be on how easily the customer can use something, but also how well employees can handle a software.

After all, if it is bulky and expensive, the usage rate drops and you risk the use of undocumented "shadow IT" or the dreaded Excel lists that are only accessible to single teams or colleagues.

A modern CRM must reduce workload and even make it fun to use. If a system is stronger in automating processes or generating measured values, the quality of the application will also increase.

interfaces for other systems

I have mentioned interfaces a few times in this text. There are hardly any companies that use only one single system for digital transformation. A good interface ensures that data can "flow", systems understand each other, and no silos are created anywhere. In addition, linked systems can create new opportunities for alignment of business units, partnerships, etc.

data protection & compliance

Especially in Europe, data protection plays a major role and can be critical to the company, especially when it comes to automating customer processes and storing and using sensitive data. Not every CRM system is up to this challenge. Or a CRM system may have a simpler solution for data protection and compliance requirements than others and replace many manual rules with predefined, automated processes.


At the end of the day, it's always important how much a system costs and how efficient it is. An inexpensive system that involves a lot of extra work may ultimately cost more than a more expensive system that relieves employees of tasks. Similarly, a large, expensive CRM system may be far too complex for a company whose customer-centric processes do not require all of the functionality.

Read, how Orthomol changed their CRM after realizing that their old system was no longer compatible with the requirements of their sales team. 

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by Juliane Waack

Juliane Waack is Editor in Chief at DIGITALL and writes about the digital transformation, megatrends and why a healthy culture is essential for a successful business.

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