The consumerization of IT is something that automobile and heavy truck dealers need to seriously consider as consumer buying preferences evolve, cybersecurity threats expand, and employee productivity gains become increasingly important. Let’s start by explaining what the term “consumerization of IT” means and why it’s important.
The consumerization of IT is the proliferation of personally owned technology at the workplace. This is in addition to, or instead of, company-owned technology that is used for business purposes. The consumerization of IT is a growing trend that has significant implications for corporate IT and requires a level of expertise, capacity, and planning to manage effectively.
The primary impact of this technology consumerization on dealers is that it forces the dealership to rethink the way they manage the technology and related services they rely on to sell and service cars and trucks. Since consumer technologies (iPhone, iPad, Android devices, etc.) are managed by the consumer they are often less robust from a security standpoint than corporate technologies would be. As a result, there is an increased risk to the information assets accessed through these less trustworthy consumerized devices.
Now, throw into the mix the pandemic and the rapid evolution of consumer buying preferences that the pandemic has spurred, and the value of using personal technology within the dealership becomes extremely obvious. The question is how should dealers enable, and appropriately manage, the consumerization of IT within their dealership to take advantage of its productivity gains while at the same time ensuring that it’s done securely and most effectively?
The answer is that you must have the appropriate expertise, strategy, supporting technology, and oversight of the personal technologies in use. More specifically, you need to take advantage of Cloud-based technologies like Microsoft Office 365 to enable secure access to essential productivity applications from any device, anywhere. You also need to leverage applications like Microsoft Teams as a unified and secure communication and collaboration platform.
Additionally, you’ll need the appropriate policies and procedures in place to handle how you deal with lost or misplaced personal devices that may contain confidential information. You’ll need to establish rules around how devices are maintained and how to defend against cybersecurity threats. And, you’ll need to consider the IT infrastructure you have in place and how to enhance and manage your IT infrastructure to incorporate and optimize the use of these devices within your dealership’s operations.
To learn more about some of the essential technologies and practices your dealership should have implemented to benefit from the consumerization of IT you should take a look at the IT Best Practices free guide. This guide will provide a roadmap for what you need to do to succeed in the new normal.