One software as a service - cloud computing - is single-handedly changing the way the automotive industry runs and operates. Cloud computing and external hosting services are not new concepts, however the demand for the infrastructure model has boomed as of late. 67% of all new software deployments will be software as a service (SaaS) or a hybrid cloud model by the end of 2014 – up from 20% in 2009*. This figure is expected to be in the region of 80% by the end of 2015. Increased network speed, coupled with expanding data needs, has brought cloud computing into its prime.
So what is Cloud?
Cloud computing is quite simply just using the internet to connect remote servers to store, manage and process your data – rather than having a physical server located onsite. The use of cloud computing in dealerships creates so many benefits that it’s hard to prioritise them all.
Outlined below are what Pentana Solutions believe to be the key benefits of Cloud Computing.
1. Reduced Labor
Dealerships can now eliminate the work of maintaining and looking after servers, infrastructure, storage, and data back-up by keeping data secured offsite through cloud computing. There is no longer a need for dealership staff to stay up-to-date with increasingly complicated servers; in fact, the hassle of infrastructure is eliminated altogether. With cloud computing, management is free to focus on their key priority – selling cars.
2. Increased Security
Cloud computing allows dealers to outsource the hosting needs to the experts, essentially decreasing their risk overnight. Cloud hosting centres have the specialist skills, extensive knowledge and experience to support systems for 24/7 operation. Data is automatically backed up on a regular basis and fail over methods leave zero room for error. System downtime is dramatically reduced due to high availability and expertly tested fail-over methods.
3. Adaptable Resources
In an ever-changing economy, a flexible infrastructure model is a must. Cloud computing allows the dealer to grow or consolidate as needed by operating as a “pay for only what you need” service. Additional data storage and new services can be added at any time without lengthy install processes or implementation costs. Cloud supported infrastructure is able to run at high speeds regardless of size or complexity.
4. Saved Money
Switching to a hosted infrastructure solution, dealers can save money in the long run by eliminating pricey servers and maintenance. Other secondary costs such as power consumption and employee resources are also saved under the cloud computing model.
5. Reduced Business Risk
Nobody ever expects their business to be affected by disaster or tragedy, but the possibility of flood, fire or storm cannot be ignored. This becomes a non-factor with cloud computing solutions since the data stays securely stored through the internet at all times. The more common minor outages and network issues are also decreased with cloud computing, allowing dealerships to trade at 100% without interruption or surprise.
For more information about how Cloud Hosting could benefit your business, why not speak to one of our experts.
*Saugatuck Technology (2011)