Should you move your DMS to the Cloud?

Many leading dealers are moving their DMS to external hosting, so it’s a good time to think about the strategy that’s best for you

Which makes more sense for your dealership management system: your own server, or the cloud?

Over the last few years adoption of cloud based technology rapidly increased. Today it’s relied upon for many important services, from emails to website hosting and online banking - and it even powers your iTunes! People wonder how they ever lived without it….

That’s why many leading dealers are moving their DMS to external hosting, so it’s a good time to think about the strategy that’s best for you.

Here are some key questions to ask:

1) Is it cheaper to have my own server? 

Not necessarily. Beyond the costs of the server itself, be sure to consider the hidden costs, like power, people costs, and disaster recovery. These costs can be hard to pin down, and people costs in particular can be sensitive in any organization. For some, the cloud is a monthly expense that can be cheaper and bring additional benefits

2) I have my own IT team. Does that mean I should manage my own DMS server?

It can take a lot to handle the various IT infrastructures and operating systems for a dealership – a lot of time and a lot of manpower. Does your team have the skills and capacity to cover them all and stay up to date? It may make sense to outsource application hosting where you can, so your IT team can stay lean and focused on other local systems.

3) What if there’s a fire or other disaster?

In our experience, disaster recovery is often a key issue for customers who decide to host their applications externally.  Disaster Recovery is a built-in part of cloud hosting but rarely provided when the server is on a dealer’s site. Of course, recovery only becomes a cost if there’s a disaster to recover from. How much of a gambler are you?

4) How reliable is my current server?

Server hardware in general is certainly more reliable these days. But what happens if it does fail? How will you recover from an outage, and how many sales will be missed or delayed as you do? Most organisations can’t justify keeping a duplicate server at a remote site to protect against major failures (not to mention the disasters mentioned earlier). The cloud solves this problem: your data is kept safe and secure on a resilient infrastructure and backed up automatically.

5) What if I just like to be able to see my own server?

Fair enough.  Sometimes it’s simply more comforting to see the flashing lights of a physical server in your dealership.  But many dealers prefer the peace of mind of cloud hosting. Most cloud providers do also supply web-based monitoring tools showing disk space, CPU and memory levels. It can also be equally comforting to know that someone else has shouldered the job of monitoring your system for you.

Here at CDK Global, we are the DMS hosting experts.  We’ll be happy to help with more information, or discuss various hosting options with you and your team.

Read more IT insights   Learn more about Cloud Hosting (HSP)

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