According to a study by the International Data Group, 69% of businesses are already using cloud technology in one capacity or another. Is your dealership one of these businesses?
The cost of purchasing, owning and operating on-premise software applications can be a major drain on a dealership’s IT budget. Most significant are the costs associated with the hardware and supporting dealership IT infrastructure required to operate the software.
An increasingly popular alternative is to move to a cloud computing model. This enables users to access business applications anywhere at any time via a web browser. Essentially, this means subscribing to software applications where the operations and the associated maintenance and support are “outsourced.” This method eliminates substantial upfront and ongoing costs for the dealership.
Moving to a cloud architecture takes advantage of the skills, expertise, and resources that cloud vendors possess and allows the dealership to focus on what they do best – sell and service cars and trucks. This blog discusses some of the benefits of moving to a cloud-based architecture.
A cloud-based architecture offers a dealer more flexibility in meeting the needs of the dealership over time. If you need extra bandwidth or more licenses, a cloud-based approach can meet that demand instantly – as opposed to undergoing a complicated, expensive update to your IT infrastructure. This improved freedom and flexibility can make a significant difference to the overall efficiency of your dealership.
Cloud vendors improve their products constantly and these improvements are automatically made available to all users. This ensures that the dealership is always benefiting from the best, most efficient, and most secure auto dealer technology. By contrast, on-premise software and hardware are typically updated every 12-18 months and require a significant and costly disruption to a dealership’s operations to take advantage of the newest innovations.
Cloud computing allows mobile access to corporate data via smartphones and devices. Dealership employees can easily and securely access the information and applications they need to do their jobs from any location. This makes it easier for a dealership’s staff to stay in touch with customers and collaborate with co-workers.
Maintaining control over your business is an essential element to success. Unfortunately, sometimes there are circumstances beyond our control that can lead to downtime. Downtime leads to lost productivity, revenue, and worst of all damage to your dealership’s brand reputation. Today, more than ever, dealers face a tremendous cybersecurity threat. This threat makes the ability to recover quickly from a disaster of paramount importance when considering that the average cost of downtime for a medium sized company is about $74,000 an hour. For a small company, it’s estimated to be about $8,000 an hour. Add to this that the average downtime when experiencing a Ransomware attack is 16.2 days! Cloud-based services provide dealers with the power to quickly recover from a disaster.
By leveraging a cloud-based technology architecture, a dealership can ensure minimal downtime by establishing a replica of its data and applications on virtual hardware through planned and systematic backups. This is why it is expected that 59% of businesses will rely on cloud-based solutions for their disaster recovery by 2021. What’s your disaster recovery plan?
Using a dedicated server that you own, maintain, and pay for regardless of the demand allocated to that server is a waste of money. With a cloud-based IT architecture your workloads will securely share server infrastructure with the computing needs of other organizations. This means you’re not paying for idle infrastructure.
Additionally, when you run your own servers, you’re dealing with upfront capital costs. This requires you to tie-up capital that could be used elsewhere. In contrast, in a cloud-based model, financing the hardware capital investment is someone else’s problem. Also, when you run your own servers you need duplicates to deal with hardware failures and to maximize uptime. With cloud computing you don’t have to worry about the cost and maintenance of in-house system redundancy.
The strategy around implementing, maintaining, and securing an effective cloud-based IT environment requires the technical expertise and resources that many dealers simply don’t have in place. If you’re interested in learning more about implementing a cloud-based architecture within your dealership then the place to start is with an IT Risk Assessment. This assessment will identify the gaps between your current IT environment and an IT environment that meets modern IT best practices – which includes leveraging cloud-based technology.