Coronavirus has heightened our need to rethink and retool the way we operate our businesses. The reality is that things are very different – and they are unlikely to ever return to the way they were in the past. We can either do something about our new reality or we can stick our heads in the sand and just hope that somehow things will magically go back to the way they were.
If you’re the doing kind and not the head in the sand kind – then inevitably you’re thinking about how to deal with the explosion of cybercrime, the productivity of your employees, and customer loyalty.
Dealerships are a target of cybercrime – there are no if, ands, or buts about this. Dealers are targets because of the large amount of consumer information they have and the fact that many dealers don’t take cybercrime and technology seriously. How can I make this claim? Well, for one thing, a recent survey found that only 30% of dealers employ a network engineer with a computer security certification or training. Who do you have protecting your business from cybercriminals?
In addition to cyber-criminals targeting dealers, the incidence of cybercrime spikes during emergency situations – like pandemics. The FBI has seen a major spike in cybercrime since coronavirus hit.
Increasingly, an individual’s productivity depends on the technology that they use to perform their work. If you can’t access the Internet or the systems you need to do your job then your productivity will suffer – it’s that simple.
Today, we now have more and more employees working remotely. This new normal requires greater attention to the technology employees rely on. Now we need to consider things like a virtual private network (VPN) and Cloud technologies. Not to mention the added security risk that comes with working remotely.
Customer expectations are always evolving but with the coronavirus, things have changed significantly. Now we can buy anything online and have it delivered to our door. Consumers will be loyal to those businesses that deliver on the buying convenience that they have become accustomed to enjoying. It’s unlikely that consumers will ever go back to accepting anything less.
Once again, technology plays an essential role in meeting the new buying expectations of consumers. Consumers need to be able to access your dealership virtually. Consumers will expect that the information they see online is personalized which will require the integration and communication of a variety of applications within your dealership. Consumers will also expect to have visibility into the buying process to understand where they are in the process and what steps still need to be taken to complete the process. This will be the case if they are buying a car or purchasing a service. And, consumers will expect a convenient and efficient mechanism for communicating with appropriate staff within your dealership to make a purchase, ask a question, or discuss a problem. All of this demands a technology infrastructure that is reliable, secure, and fast.
Technology is Mission Critical
For a long time, many dealers thought of technology as an expense that was best minimized. This is why most dealers still have someone managing their IT infrastructure that has no formal IT training or certifications. Coronavirus and cybercrime should serve as a wake-up call – this must change.
Like it or not, technology is mission-critical to your business. Without it, you can’t sell and service cars and trucks. Without technology, you can’t defend against cybercrime. Without technology, the productivity of your employees grinds to a halt. Without technology you will fail to build – or even maintain – the customer loyalty your dealership depends on to be successful. It’s time to seriously consider who is managing your technology environment. Does this person have the training and certifications needed to effectively implement, maintain, and protect the technology infrastructure your business needs to thrive both today and tomorrow?