CRM is essential for e-government says report

E-government projects will end up as expensive failures unless Whitehall adopts Customer Relationship Management (CRM)...

E-government projects will end up as expensive failures unless Whitehall adopts Customer Relationship Management (CRM) principles, according to a new report by Accenture.

The management and technology services consultancy looked at attitudes to CRM among top public sector managers in 11 countries and found a worrying lack of interest.

Accenture partner Steve Shine told CW360.com: "E-government involves a high volume of customers and CRM principles must be used or e-government initiatives will not work correctly. In the next 12-18 months, those tackling e-government targets will have to look at these principles very closely."

Shine believes that CRM should be seen as a core component of modernising government agendas and insists CRM is not just a marketing device.

The e-envoy office's use of life episodes, such as birth or marriage, to split up its e-government initiatives is an example of the clear use of one CRM basic principle of segmentation, said Shine.

The Accenture study found 76% of respondents saw CRM principles as applicable to their goals. But there were deep gaps between the recognition of CRM's value and its practical application.

Shine acknowledged that many private sector CRM projects have delivered disappointing results, but insisted that the government could learn much from private sector implementations.

"Government can learn just as much, if not more, from the CRM mistakes in the private sector as it can from the successes," he said.

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