Keeping pace with technology Mark Greenfield In the Media (0) Publication: AutofilePublish Date: 21 October 2015==Is our industry ready to be disrupted? With the continuing evolution of technology, this is being faced by many these days. It's becoming obvious to most, if not all, that it's not a matter of "if" but more determining "when".The reality for the vehicle industry is that it will not be excluded from major disruption, so it's important we understand where things are likely to change and how we may combat them.Consumers are also evolving. Every year, the gap continues to widen between their expectations and what experiences are delivered by dealerships.Some are keeping pace. However, I am noticing an upward trend in those struggling to deliver – or keep up with – customers' expectations.Everyone is becoming more time-poor. Not only do consumers want relevant experiences, dealerships are crying out for efficiencies and process improvements to get the best returns on investment in staff and initiatives.Companies in our industry will continue to be successful as long as they continue to keep pace with expectations and technological advancements.Those standing still and doing business as they always have will awake one morning wondering where their customers have gone.The future is exciting, but it will pose a dangerous situation for those with a lack of vision.I see the following trends playing big roles in how technology will dominate the future.Personal: Everything will be customised for the consumer. Generic advertising and marketing will become ineffective and catalogue websites less popular.Predictive: Technology will know what customers want and sometimes before they know it themselves. Products will find their buyers and the concept of searching for things will become the exception not the rule.Automation: This trend is obvious, but we expect it to become more aggressive. We will become comfortable dealing with automated devices for everything.Embedded: Computers and technology will be everywhere, so much so that you'll stop noticing it. Computers will get smaller and into almost all objects, and will communicate with each other.Experience: The focus on consumer experience will be the battlefield of customer-facing businesses. Making things simple and convenient while ensuring they are happy will take up your working day. Computers will do everything else.Integration: Industry players will join their systems together, so isolated pieces of information become part of a living fabric. Systems will leverage this and feed it into all operations they perform.Data: This is moving to the cloud where it's accessible in ways never before possible and in volumes beyond our wildest dreams. Today, data is mostly presented as statistics, patterns and insights in reports. In the future, the norm will be for computers to make observations, detect trends and make predictions, and finally make suggestions or even decisions.Funnily enough, the technology required to do things such as this has been around for at least 20 years, so why hasn’t it happened yet?The technology required was too expensive – mainly the cost of storing large amounts of data. The internet's slow speed was a barrier. People weren’t dependent on the web and didn’t understand it, which meant they didn't trust it.Only in the past 10 years have these barriers started to come down with most progress occurring in the past 36 months.It's important we continue to question how things can be completed more efficiently and effectively to make businesses better.Motorcentral intends to be at the forefront of this battleground as a technology provider and our approach will be to act as a leading disruptor.We will be challenging the way things have always been done with innovation and development – most importantly, in line with consumer and business needs.We’ve been working hard over the past few years to integrate with a large number of players and service providers to connect various parts of the industry.As this continues, we hope automation will be allowed to begin to play a wider role to create a more streamlined and smarter industry.So back to my original question: Is the motor industry ready to be disrupted? I believe so now more than ever and challenge you to think how you will be selling your cars in five years' time. What advancements will we have made and what will consumers' expectations be?We hope to be a part of that vision, drive and foundation needed to deliver this future. Our products and services will continue to evolve until we reach and exceed these expectations.