March 11, 2016

The Future is Here, and It’s a Great Drive

From the beginnings of manufacturing to the advent of computer controlled vehicle systems, there has never been a time in our history when technology has been more of a driving force behind the rapid evolution of virtually every industry. Gartner refers to this shift as the “Nexus of Forces,” a convergence of innovations in mobile, social, cloud and information driven by rapid consumer adoption. The signs are all around us; every business has its own mobile app and almost any service is just one click away. In our connected world, consumer behavior is driving fundamental changes in how organizations do business, both internally and externally. While businesses worldwide rush to jump on the mobile bandwagon, most still fail to grasp that the next evolution isn’t a product that can be manufactured, it’s how things will connect to each other.

When one thinks of mobility, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Smartphones? Cloud storage? These are both legitimate answers, but the next step in mobility revolves around the one thing that many take for granted: their vehicle. To most, the humble automobile is an appliance with four wheels that gets them quickly from point A to point B, but it has the potential to be so much more. From in-vehicle entertainment to maintenance and sales, the car and its underlying technologies represent untouched real estate and unrealized potential; this is not just good news for consumers, but for parts manufacturers, distributors, and repair centers as well.

We are all familiar with the high-tech extras that come packaged with the most expensive of vehicles, but as the technology evolves, so too does its accessibility. Many of these high-tech features are now making their way into even the most common of automobiles, paving the way for a drive that will scarcely resemble that that we know today. Though while automotive, and automotive aftermarket, businesses vie for control of your dashboard and smartphone, many are missing a crucial piece of the puzzle.

Though some businesses in the automotive aftermarket have made the leap to mobile,  the needs of the industry are fluid, constantly evolving as new technology is designed, tested and released. While there are a slew of companies out there who claim they can build a mobile app for you to increase your visibility, when all their applications look the same, behave the same, and contain static content, it’s simply not enough. These days, simply having an app for your business does not automatically boost your mobile presence. At a minimum, today’s apps must include capabilities for mobile commerce, knowledge sharing and collaboration, as well as a solid backbone prepared to support the coming wave of connected vehicles. To reap the benefits of this connected future, businesses will need a platform designed to meet the requirements of an industry that bridges the divide between past and present; and industry that changed the face of the world once before and is now poised to do so yet again with its next evolution.

Elliott Schendel, Director of Marketing