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Matt Watson

Matt Watson Chief Technical Officer

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Is Cloud Based Software Green Software?

Cloud based, or web based software, has quickly became the best way to deliver software to users. All new software products are now cloud based and there are virtually no limitations to web browser based software these days. Being that cloud based software doesn't require buying servers, that got me thinking... is it "green" software?

There are numerous advantages to cloud based software:

1. Better cross platform support - Windows XP, Windows 7, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android... Just need a web browser
2. Painless upgrades - Always updated to the latest version of the software
3. Easy access and deployment - No servers or software to install. Just open your web browser and go.
4. Data is safer - Better security, redundancy and backups at data centers
5. Dealer groups - A centralized system allows better reporting than trying to run reports across many servers

Beyond these advantages did you ever think of cloud based or web based software as being "green"?

If 2,000 dealers buy a server based automotive CRM system they would have to buy 2,000 servers.

If 2,000 dealers buy a cloud based automotive CRM system, the vendor can host all of those dealers on less than 20 servers!

A cloud based system can easily host 100 dealers for every 1 server. That means a lot less servers have to purchased, supported, and backed up. That ultimately leads to lower costs and saves dealers "green". Fewer servers means much less electricity is used and fewer server end up in the trash, which is also a good "green" initiative.

If you buy 1 server for your dealership, you don't have any redundancy if the server fails, which it will do. Vendors who provide cloud based software automatically build redundancy in to their systems. To have redundancy it would take twice as many servers, which would be 4,000 servers, to do what 20 can do.

Vendors who provide web based software also continually upgrade their server hardware so you don't have to worry about buying new servers every few years or the speed of the system. Those of you who have a 10 year old CRM or DMS server that takes forever to run a report know what I am talking about. Vendors will also have servers that are much more powerful than what you would buy for your dealership. So the software will be even faster.

Going "green" usually takes more "green" to do. But for car dealers who are thinking about buying a web based CRM system, it can actually save them real "green". You can save a lot of money by not buying servers. You also don't have to worry about having an IT staff to manage them.

Cloud based software can save you "green" and be good for the environment by using less servers.

Matt Watson
Chief Technology Officer
VinSolutions
@mattwatson81

Eric Miltsch
Nice post Matt... For us, the cost savings was the selling point - not the green issue so much. Seems like that's been the PR spin on SaaS. Interesting poke here: here:http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/157807/has_cloud_computing_jumped_the_shark.html
Arnold Tijerina
The only issue I see with cloud based software is bandwidth at the dealerships. Some dealerships have reeeeallllyyyy slow internet connections. If everyone is using the software "in the cloud" that will only slow more things down. Truly high speed internet isn't available in all areas so there will be dealers that can't handle it just from a connectivity standpoint.
Matt Watson
@Arnold A single T1 usually works fine. 3Mb/s or 2 T1s is usually preferred. One of our customers has a 100 Mb/s fiber connection. Crazy huh?

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