Blog post

February 10, 2021

Cloud automotive retail management system: is it worth it for your dealership?

Your company might already have some type of legacy automotive retail management system. Or perhaps you’re looking to implement a dealership management system in the future, but don’t know what kind. One of the main questions you have to answer either way is whether a cloud solution is the most suitable for your business. Let’s explore the main things you should know: 

Navigating on-prem and cloud licensing 

On-prem licensing is only offered in perpetuity – which means that a company gets to use (and own) the solution after upfront payment. However, the cloud-based newer versions of Dynamics 365 Business Central (which is what NAV is now known aswork on a subscription model under which companies make periodic payments to the vendor to use the solution. 

Tip:Learn more about the differences between Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics NAV 

Hosting options for Dynamics 365 Business Central 

Cloud solutions are gaining traction in recent years and it’s not for nothing. Forrester estimates moving to the cloud is 30-50% less expensive than upgrading servers on-premises and it reduces administrative costs by 40%. There are two cloud-based options – the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. 

Tip: Want to know more about solution infrastructure? Check out this blog post about Dynamics 365 Business Central licensing & infrastructure 

IaaS is offered both in perpetuity, and through a subscription, but the SaaS deployment model is subscription-based only.  SaaS’s biggest advantage is that it eliminates hardware costs and reduces administration costs for software updates, storage allocation, server backups, and restores.System upgrades are automatic in cloud solutions – so you don’t have to worry whether your solution is updated, in compliance, or supported. 

 Another perk of cloud solutions is that they can be customized or integrated with other third-party apps like OEM portals, or Microsoft solutions like CRM apps, Power BI, Power Apps, much easier than legacy on-prem systems can. Here’s what’s already included: 

DB cloud vs on prem comparison table

Cloud computing is also prepared for the reality of 2021 and beyond by bringing added flexibility and benefits for remote workers. Access from multiple locations is now possible with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central being used in a web browser. 

Does the cloud offer other benefits? 

Since many of the tasks usually performed by your personnel are handled by the vendor when you have a cloud solution, your staff can focus on high-return activities instead of maintenance or system updates. The same goes for rollouts or changes in scale that your company goes through – the solution is a lot more flexible than an on-prem system is. A cloud automotive retail management system is one that gathers all necessary functionalities in one place, adapts and grows with your company. 

Is the cloud safe? 

There are many misconceptions about cloud security, one being that it’s subpar to that of on-prem solutions. However, it’s not really a question of the system itself, but rather the partner. Any serious, trustworthy cloud provider conducts continuous penetration tests and takes many precautions to protect their customers’ data. 

There’s another aspect you need to consider: storing your server in an office or data room does not necessarily mean your data is secure. In the case of unforeseen events such as power outages, flooding, or fire, there’s not much you can do to prevent the loss of data. That isn’t the case with cloud solutions, mostly because your company information is kept across many different locations – even if something goes wrong in one of them, your data is safe in all the others. 

Looking for more information about cloud-based automotive retail management solutions? Contact us! 

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