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The world of technology is changing fast; here's what dealers need to know:
1) In 2015, there were 18.2 billion devices connected to the Internet. By 2020 that number will increase to over 50 billion devices, or 2.5X the current amount
The number of devices in many dealerships has doubled compared to five years ago. In addition to computers, employees are now using cell phones and mobile tablets to connect via Wi-Fi to the Internet. Gadgets such as "smart" appliances also transmit information over the Internet via Wi-Fi.
Increasingly, dealerships are starting to install Wi-Fi access points out on their lots. Salespeople are pushing to use tablets so they can engage customers by videotaping virtual walkarounds, or check out the competition's prices to combat showrooming.
Service departments are also using external Wi-Fi to perform vehicle computer updates, so they can free up their bays for customer-pay repairs.
All these new devices collectively transfer huge amounts of data, which means that most auto dealerships will need to prioritize upgrading their Wi-Fi networks. In four years, the typical auto dealership will need anywhere from ten to fifteen enterprise-grade Wi-Fi routers located strategically throughout their dealership.
2) In 2004, the average Internet usage at auto dealerships was 10 Mbps. Currently average Internet usage is 30 Mbps. By 2018, average usage will be 100 Mbps. (Source: Helion internal data)
Until recently, phone companies' T1 lines or cable-providers' Internet solutions have been adequate for many dealerships. As data usage continues to increase, more dealers are finding that these solutions are no longer sufficient.
Most dealerships today require enterprise-grade service, which comes with high-level support and greater reliability. The best way to accomplish this is with fiber optics.
The good news for auto dealers is that recently, both cable companies and utility companies have been awarded with Rights of Way, which means they can compete with phone companies to provide fiber optics services to businesses. The increased competition will significantly lower prices. In some areas, dealerships can now bring screaming fast Internet via fiber optics right into their server rooms for $700 to $800 per month.
3) In 2015, 480 million records were leaked and more than $1 billion was stolen due to cyberattacks (Source: IT Governance)
Incidences of cyberattacks and cybercrimes have tripled in just the last few years, with millions of attacks being launched every day by sophisticated hackers in the U.S. and abroad. If your auto dealership doesn't yet have a security policy or cyber attack plan in place, now is the time to create one.
4) In 2016, 36% of all data is expected to be stored in the cloud and worldwide consumer digital storage will surpass 4 zettabytes (Source: Gartner Research)
Are you wondering what a zettabyte is?
1,000 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte
1,000 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte
1,000 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte
1,000 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte
1,000 Petabytes = 1 Exabyte
1,000 Exabytes = 1 Zettabyte
1,000 Zettabytes = 1 Yottabyte
1,000 Yottabytes = 1 Brontobyte
1,000 Brontobytes = 1 Geopbyte
A zettabyte is a LOT of data. Cloud computing is one of the primary reasons why the need for Internet bandwidth will continue to increase.
Many auto dealerships currently rely on cloud storage when they sign up with vendors who deliver Software-as-a-Service or cloud-based solutions. Most CRM and DMS vendors offer cloud-based solutions.
The top four benefits of cloud computing include:
The trend towards cloud computing is likely to continue. Like many other small to mid-sized businesses, auto dealerships stand to benefit from cloud computing as their ability to compete is enhanced by reduced IT costs and increased efficiencies.