Why Dealerships Should Pay More Attention to Cloud Technology – Dan Flynn, CDK Global

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In the changing technology space today it’s very important for dealers to pay attention to new offers that are in the marketplace, and there are a large number of small businesses in the U.S. and around the world that are paying attention to this cloud technology and have started to leverage it to run their companies. On today’s show, CBT News sits down Dan Flynn, Executive Vice President and Business Leader of Core DMS for CDK Global. He discusses why dealerships should be paying attention to these platforms and what this cloud-based technology can do to help dealerships adapt to changing market conditions.

cloud technology VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: 

Jim:
Thanks for joining us, Dan.

Dan:
Thanks for having me, Jim.

Jim:
Sure. Let’s kind of dive right in here. Talk to us about the importance of cloud technology.

Dan:
Yeah. You know, in the changing technology space today, it’s really important for dealers to pay attention to, you know new offers that are out in the marketplace. Although cloud technology’s been around for a long time, but you know, there’s a large number of small businesses in the United States and around the world that are paying attention to this cloud technology and starting to leverage it to run their businesses.

Jim:
Sure. So why is it necessary for dealers to pay attention to these platforms?

Dan:
Yeah, I think if you think about dealers, you know, one of the things, is that the market’s moving very fast. How do you become nimble and how do you actually protect your business? So if you think about a couple of real examples for dealers, well first one can be, you know, take the old days when you used to have all of your computers in your store.

Jim:
Right?

Dan:
Take scenarios where, take Hurricane Harvey as an example, you know flooding in lots of dealerships and lots of homes have people impacted. We had a dealer that adopted cloud technology and was able to actually run their store remotely and pay their employees, versus if they had a computer-based in their store, it would have been underwater and if they wanted to pay their employees they wouldn’t have been able to do that. So it’s a real-world example of how technology is helping them run their business and insulate them from sort of one natural disaster, as an example.

Jim:
How can cloud-based tech help dealers adapt to changing marketing conditions?

Dan:
Yeah, I think this is one of the real pros of cloud technology. The capability for the dealer to be able to scale up or scale down, based on their demand. So if they, all of a sudden they start to get a lot of customers that are accessing their system or they’re selling or servicing more cars that they would hope, meeting that need and that demand that they are putting through the system, is really very well suited for cloud-based technology. It helps dealers either not over-provision hardware and helps them not under provision hardware. So it enables them to actually flex up and down with the demand that they see in their businesses.

Jim:
Yeah, which today it’s all about running dealerships the most efficient way possible, right? With margin compression out there and so many other factors to deal with. So this is also cost-cutting, right?

Dan:
Yeah. If you think about it, you’re basically outsourcing the security and the storage of your dealership. You know, when you look at these cloud providers, there is no way that a dealership can employ as many security specialists that say an Amazon will.

Jim:
Right.

Dan:
And not only is that a cost-efficient from an

Dan:
outsourcing perspective, but it’s also efficient in getting the most updated security on your system.

Jim:
Yeah.

Dan:
And you know, nobody’s going to be more current than these providers are. So you’re buying sort of better costs, but you’re also buying the most current security available in the world.

Jim:
Sure. And how can dealers choose the right cloud-based platform for their dealership?

Dan:
Yeah, there’s a couple of things they need to think about. You know, they really need to think about their own organization and how they’re actually organized, mapped, what systems do they have available to them, what actually is their set up. And then carefully consider the providers. There’s different providers in the market. They offer different services to people that buy them and just make sure that the fit for what you’re trying to achieve. And then, you know, data security, today’s really important.

Jim:
Right.

Dan:
So make sure you pressure test anybody would use relative to their data security practices and what they’re doing from a data security perspective. And I think last but not least, depending on the maturity level of the dealer go at an inappropriate pace. So don’t just do it all, if this is your first time venturing into the cloud world. Take small pieces of it, of your technology stack and start to test and learn as you go. Don’t just do an all-in approach as you think and how would you actually approach cloud technology.

Jim:
You guys at CDK are on the forefront of these types of issues and solutions for dealers. Is it just as easy as them picking up the phone or emailing you guys and saying, hey, you know, give me a once over here, let me know what I’m heading into- [crosstalk 00:04:58]

Dan:
Yep.

Jim:
And what we’ve got to do to make sure that, you know, we’re up to date and secure?

Dan:
Yeah. So we do provide those services, Jim, already to a number of dealers. Yeah, they can just reach out to us and happy to review their overall technology system and just make sure that they understand where they fit and then understand what services we offer and what we can help them with.

Jim:
Yeah, for sure. Well Dan Flynn, executive vice president and business leader of Core DMS for CDK Global. I want to thank you so much for joining us on CBT News today. It was very enlightening.

Dan:
Thank you.

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