Does your dealership have an IT strategy in place or does it simply react to the challenges of technology? If you have no clear picture of how your IT infrastructure contributes to your overall business operations nor have any plans for improving the tech tools you are using, you have a reactive approach.
The problem with a reactive IT approach is that your dealership will be spending more than it needs to. You may find yourself always looking for cash to solve IT problems that you were not prepared for. Moreover, you could be paying for tools that do not solve operational challenges nor contribute to your main business objectives.
The following are five clear signs that show your IT strategy is reactive rather than proactive:
FREQUENT DOWNTIMES WITH YOUR TECH INFRASTRUCTURE
Do employees have to grapple with issues regarding the software or hardware they use?
Downtimes can significantly cut down productivity time at your dealership and lead to massive losses and brand erosion. Imagine what customers would think when they call to inquire about the parts they ordered only to be told that their orders cannot be accessed in your system.
YOU HAVE NO CLEAR IT BUDGET
How much did you spend on IT last year and how much have you allocated this year? If your IT budget usually fluctuates from year to year, this is a clear indication you have a reactive strategy.
You should come up with a 5-year IT plan for your dealership and separate it into phases of one year. The plan should cover how your dealership would leverage IT to get where you want it to be. Long-term plans are easier to implement and do not require quick, significant changes, which can affect your employees’ performance.
YOU USE OBSOLETE IT EQUIPMENT
Are you still using switches that transfer 100 Mbps of data? When was the last time you upgraded your employees’ computers?
Obsolete IT equipment can lower employees’ productivity and ultimately impact your bottom line negatively. If you are still using the same computers you had five years ago, it’s time to upgrade. You need modern, stable IT equipment that can perform multiple tasks fast.
YOU DON’T SEE ROI FROM YOUR IT COSTS
IT is meant to improve efficiency and productivity in your dealership. You may be using various hardware and software in your daily business operations. However, the work that the tools do should translate to a positive ROI.
For example, do you know the impact of your order tracking software on costs? If you are not tracking the ROI of the tools you use, you have a reactive approach.
YOU ARE NOT CONFIDENT OF YOUR NETWORK SECURITY
Is your business and customers’ data safe from malicious parties? Are you using an updated firewall and antivirus program? If your dealership lacks an elaborate strategy to prevent network intrusions by third parties, you need to come up with a proactive strategy.
Dealerships that want to stay ahead of the competition need to approach IT proactively. The above telltale signs show you need to switch your strategy from reactive to proactive.