HubSpot's announcement of a free CRM suite coming in 2015 may be a harbinger of change for CIOs.
The digital economy is different from the economy of our parents' generation: Everything moves faster; customer expectations evolve almost overnight; new digitally enabled products open new opportunities; companies can scale at a pace that would have been impossible twenty years ago; and data has tangible value.
Now that companies like Salesforce.com have proven the cloud-based software model, CIOs embrace software-as-a-service (SaaS) as a viable option. The idea of paying for only what you use entices CIOs as budgets are squeezed. With a SaaS model it is much easier for CIOs to pass along software costs to each business unit P&L or departmental budget.
But why would a rapidly growing company like HubSpot — a provider of inbound marketing tools to the SMB market — launch a new CRM solution as a “freemium” offering?
The answer lies in one of the key changes brought about by the digital economy: Customer acquisition trumps revenue generation when establishing a digital business — revenue generation will come later and not necessarily from traditional sources.Read more