Too Many Cooks Spoil the CRM System | Opinions | ChannelWorld.in

Too Many Cooks Spoil the CRM System

Added on Oct 27, 2009 by David Taber
David Taber About the author

David Taber

David Taber is the author of the Prentice Hall book, “ Salesforce.com Secrets of Success” and is the CEO of SalesLogistix, a certified Salesforce.com consultancy focused on business process improvement through use of CRM systems.

CRM systems have varying degrees of security and privilege management, but all the serious CRM options, whether on premises or in the cloud, have fine-grained security because the data is meaningful and must be carefully controlled. CRM users, particularly in sales, will quickly discover that they can’t change things to make them look the way they want to with their normal user level data access. So they will invent a plausible reason for why they need system admin privileges, and all too often they’ll be granted full super user status in the CRM system.

And this would be a good idea, why? What trouble lies ahead? Let’s start with the fact that users haven’t been trained in the intricacies of the CRM system. They have no idea what kind of damage they can do with seemingly insignificant changes. They don’t understand the security model, the object model, the external integrations, or the workflows. Even if all they’re trying to do is move around a field on the screen, doing it wrong can wreck havoc on users and business processes they didn’t even know existed.

Fortunately, untrained admins are unlikely to actually destroy a lot of existing data. Of course they can, but usually when they’re trying to change data, it’s just their own records. As long as you have audit trails turned on, it’s fairly straightforward to reconstruct the crime.

More interesting than data damage is the risk of a super user seeing data that’s supposed to be off-limits. The more integrated your CRM system is with the rest of your IT infrastructure, the more sensitive information an administrator can see and the more process controls they can inadvertently override. This can include the full company bookings forecast, inventories, contracts, commissions, and even employee home phone numbers. You don’t have to be an attorney to shudder about the potential regulatory and legal problems here.

Fortunately, there are clearly defined best practices here. Let’s start with “just say no.” Even if there is a good reason why a manager or user needs some special privileges, the number of administrators for a CRM system should be strictly limited. I have yet to find a good reason why an organization should have more than 6 CRM administrators, and that assumes a 24x7, round-the-world operation. To be an administrator means a significant amount of training both in the classroom and on the job–and it’s not a temporary or part-time role, except in organizations with fewer than 100 users.

The system administrator role needs to include at least one person who is a data steward looking out for the health and cleanliness of data by controlling design and external data inputs. If your CRM system is highly integrated with the rest of your IT systems, the CRM data steward should be part of a larger configuration control board that manages the evolution of policy, process controls, and system changes.

Many marketing users may need to have read access to a broad scope of data, and a few need to be able to use mass-importing tools, but that doesn’t mean they should be super users. Create specific profiles and delegated administrative privileges for these users, and limit the login hours and locations for them, in order to contain the risk of abuse.

If your CRM system doesn’t have role-based security or enable delegated authority, this is one of the better reasons to have a serious conversation with your CRM vendor. Also look at the vendor’s feature roadmap: in the long run, the best security functionality must come from the platform. If they don’t have security high on the agenda it’s a signal you need to start looking elsewhere.

Latest Opinions

  • Accessibility and Apple Watch apps

    MG Siegler shares his thoughts on Apple Watch "three months in." He writes:

    Steven Aquino
  • Flawsome software: Making educated platform choices

    The internecine warfare between Android and iOS continues to rage, leaving no one unscathed. This week brings another volley as researchers discovered a Major Flaw In Android Phones Would Let Hackers In With Just A Text.

    The Macalope
  • Talkler iOS app reads email aloud so you can be (nearly) hands-free

    The freemium iOS app Talkler bills itself as "email for your ears." By reading messages aloud, the app enables you to catch up on email while exercising, driving, cooking, or otherwise busy. The app works as promised, though I ran into issues with setup and voice commands.

    James A. Martin
  • Comparing Apples to lemons: Windows Phone beats Apple Watch

    As the artist formerly knowns as Prince and is possibly again known as Prince (who can keep up?) once wrote: Oh, no, let's go crazy.

    The Macalope
  • Cell phone alerts are dangerous to drivers

    I know. You've been nagged and nagged by writers, including me and my colleague, Al Sacco, to put down your phone and other devices when you're behind the wheel. But before you stop reading note this: A new study from Florida State University indicates that even putting your phone on vibrate while you drive doesn't make you all that much safer.

    Bill Snyder
All About Windows 10

The Windows 10 upgrade: Who should do it, who could wait

The day is finally here: Windows 10's launch. And if you haven't been participating in Microsoft's Windows Insider previews, you have a single, simple question: Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

Windows 10 vs. Windows 8: Performance benchmarks show a close battle for fastest

Windows 10 performance is one of the hardest things to nail down right now. Here are some initial tests.

Windows 10 installation files already sneaking onto Windows 7 and 8 PCs

Starting around midnight Eastern time on Wednesday, June 29, 2015 Windows 10 will start rolling out to Windows Insider members.

Windows 10: Fact vs. fiction

It's a few days before Windows 10 is officially slated to drop, and still, confusion abounds. Worse, many fallacies regarding Microsoft's plans around upgrades and support for Win10 remain in circulation, despite efforts to dispel them.

IT hears the siren call of free Windows 10 upgrades

Even enterprise IT professionals are taken with Microsoft's free upgrade offer to Windows 10, according to a recently-released survey by Spiceworks.

ChannelWorld Research

Why Channels Have Changed Their Go-to-Market Strategy in Six Months

According to our SOTM Mid-Year Survey, a majority of Indian channels said their top go-to-market strategy was to offer services in a recurring revenue model—not introducing new technologies, like SMAC, which was their top GTM strategy six months ago.

SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015: Your Roadmap for the Next 6 Months

According to the survey, the next six months of the year are going to be eventful. Here are the challenges, emerging technologies and trends that will shape the rest of the year for you.

Big Data, Mobility Top Partners’ Wish List: SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015

According to the ChannelWorld's State of the Mart Mid-Year Survey (SOTM) 2015, big data is the way to go for the enterprise channels for the second half of this year, with 34 percent partners planning to invest in it.

Private Cloud Still Remains a ‘Safe Bet’ for Partners: SOTM Survey 2015

According to the STOM 2015 survey, channel partners who are into cloud computing feel that 42 percent of their business will be generated by private cloud.

Partners Pin Hope on Government, Expects IT Spend to Grow: SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015

According to the ChannelWorld's State of the Mart Mid-Year survey (SOTM) 2015, 30 percent of the channel partners believe that IT spend in the government sector is likely to increase in next six months.

No More Baby Steps, Partners Ready to ‘Risk’ Gambling with Disruptive Tech: SOTM Survey 2015

According to ChannelWorld’s State of the Mart Survey (SOTM) 2015, 43 percent of channel partners say their business will have a ‘high risk appetite’ in the second half of this year.

Channels’ 3 Great Expectations from Tech OEMs

Introduced as an individual category under ‘Expectations from tech OEMs’ list in SOTM Mid –Year Survey, ‘transparent deal registration’ emerged as the biggest concern for channel companies in India.

Latest Videos

Why We Believe in Servicing a Single Vertical: Satish Pendse, Highbar Technologies

The biggest pro of taking a vertical approach is that you put all your efforts into one thing and this excessive focus helps you succeed, says Satish Pendse, President, Highbar Technologies.

Fortinet Geared to Enhance Visibility: Rajesh Maurya

Fortinet will engage in intense dialogue with customers and partners through events, roadshows, POCs and various other initiatives, says Rajesh Maurya, Country Manager- India & SAARC, Fortinet

Hybrid SDN is a Big Opportunity for Channels: Subhasish Gupta, Allied Telesis

Subhasish Gupta, Country Manager India & SAARC, Allied Telesis, says hybrid SDN and surveillance solutions can open new doors for channel partners in India.

EDITOR'S PICK

The Windows 10 upgrade: Who should do it, who could wait

The day is finally here: Windows 10's launch. And if you haven't been participating in Microsoft's Windows Insider previews, you have a single, simple question: Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

Windows 10 vs. Windows 8: Performance benchmarks show a close battle for fastest

Windows 10 performance is one of the hardest things to nail down right now. Here are some initial tests.

Windows 10 installation files already sneaking onto Windows 7 and 8 PCs

Starting around midnight Eastern time on Wednesday, June 29, 2015 Windows 10 will start rolling out to Windows Insider members.

Windows 10: Fact vs. fiction

It's a few days before Windows 10 is officially slated to drop, and still, confusion abounds. Worse, many fallacies regarding Microsoft's plans around upgrades and support for Win10 remain in circulation, despite efforts to dispel them.

IT hears the siren call of free Windows 10 upgrades

Even enterprise IT professionals are taken with Microsoft's free upgrade offer to Windows 10, according to a recently-released survey by Spiceworks.

SLIDESHOWS

7 Apps By The Indian Government You Need to Use

There are over hundreds of government initiated apps for Android, Apple and Windows devices. With Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative, the government has released several new feature-rich smartphone applications.

SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015: Your Roadmap for the Next 6 Months

According to the survey, the next six months of the year are going to be eventful. Here are the challenges, emerging technologies and trends that will shape the rest of the year for you.

The State of the Internet

Akamai's Q1 2015 state of the internet report provides insights into key global statistics including connection speeds, broadband adoption (fixed and mobile networks), and IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 implementation.

India Software Market on an Upswing

According to IDC, the Indian software market has witnessed consistent growth of 10 percent since the second half of 2014, showing signs of growth and revival. 

7 Jobs Technology Has Replaced

Albert Einstein said once that it has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. With every invention of technology some poor soul becomes vulnerable to losing his or her job in some corner of the world. Here are few jobs that will cease to exist soon.

India's Leading VADs

Why Channels Want to Partner With Inflow Technologies

Inflow Technologies’ tie up with 39 vendor companies, an extensive tech portfolio, and a services play, are great value propositions for enterprise channels, says its President and CEO, Byju Pillai.

iValue Creates Real Value for Channels in India

Focused on niche vendor alliances around data, network and app management backed by a robust channel ecosystem marked iValue's success in 2014. What clicked for the seven-year-old VAD?

RAH Infotech Shows Channels the Way Ahead

Mutual trust and long lasting bond with vendor companies and channel partners helps VADs to evolve and succeed in today’s aggressively competitive market. Leveraging competent channel partners and forge niche vendor alliances marks RAH Infotech’s success in 2014.

How Satcom Infotech is Adapting to New Security Landscape

As a leading value added distributor, Satcom Infotech is emerging as an end-to-end security player, helping both customers and partners grow.

How ComGuard Shields Channel Partners

As emerging technologies introduce new threats to the enterprise landscape, they are making channel partners anxious. But VADs like ComGuard are putting their worries to rest. Here's how.

Tech Chat

Collaborating To Outcome Based World: Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Avaya

Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Managing Director, India and SAARC, Avaya, on how IT is transitioning from a keep-the-lights-on role to one that enables customers to deliver results.

The Dawn of the Digital Age: Akhilesh Tuteja, KPMG

The development of digital infrastructure will be a key growth driver for technology and solution providers. 

Paradigm Shift from End-Users to User-First : Parag Arora,Citrix

Parag Arora, Area Vice President and India Head, India Sub-continent, Citrix, says new technologies will force organizations to take a user-first approach in 2015.

Mobile and Cloud Are Gamechangers of the Future: Karan Bajwa, Microsoft

Karan Bajwa, Managing Director, Microsoft India, says, in  2015, organizations will adopt a mobile-first and cloud-first strategy to get ahead of competition.

A Network for the Internet of Everything : Dinesh Malkani,Cisco

Dinesh Malkani, President, India and SAARC, Cisco, talks about IoT and the significant technology transitions in the networking world.

Moving to the Third Platform: Jaideep Mehta, IDC

Cloud and mobility are the two technologies that will fuel the rapid adoption of the third platform in India.

Envisaging a Holistic Security Strategy For 2015: Sanjay Rohatgi,Symantec

Sanjay Rohatgi, President–Sales, Symantec India, says the company has a set of holistic solutions in place to secure organizations from security threats. 

Beating the Bad Guys: Sivarama Krishnan, PwC

Organizations will need to turn inwards to establish robust information security strategies.

Building Capabilities for a Digital Tomorrow: Alok Ohrie,Dell

Alok Ohrie, President and Managing Director, Dell India, on the company’s investments to build end-to-end solutions and delivery capabilities for a digital world.

FAST TRACK

Kamtron Systems

Transitioning towards a service-oriented company will boost our growth, believes Kavita Singhal, director, Kamtron Systems.

TIM Infratech

Delivering ‘best of breed’ technologies to enterprises is key to success, says Monish Chhabria, MD, TIM Infratech

Mudra Electronics

A vendor-agnostic strategy helped us sustain business, says Bharat Shetty, CMD, Mudra Electronics.

Systematix Technologies

Our USP is a customer-friendly approach backed by services, says Akhilesh Khandelwal, Director, Systematix Technologies.

CorporateServe Solutions

Our ability to turnaround complex ERP projects in record time is what gets us customer referral, says Vinay Vohra, Founder & CEO, CorporateServe Solutions.

KernelSphere Technologies

We are emerging as an end-to-end systems integrator, says Vinod Kumar, MD, KernelSphere Technologies.

Uniware Systems

We constantly validate emerging technologies for first-mover advantage, says Vergis K.R., CEO, Uniware Systems.

Astek Networking & Solutions

An innovative approach helps us stay successful, says Ashish Agarwal, CEO, Astek Networking & Solutions.

CSM Technologies

Our approach is backed by innovation and simplicity, says Priyadarshi Nanu Pany, CEO, CSM Technologies.

SOCIAL MEDIA @ CW India
SIGNUP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Signup for our newsletter and get regular updates.