In the age of Smart Mobility, the integration of cloud and backend solutions has become instrumental in shaping the future of automotive technology. We sat down with Markus Obermaier, Director, Cloud & Backend Services (CBS) at intive, to gain insights into the transformative power of these technologies and to learn how the cloud connects isolated solutions and delivers the infrastructure needed to drive innovation in the automotive industry.
Without the cloud, there would be no connected services, no modern data services, and not even Google Maps. Cloud & Backend Services (CBS) experts at intive make sure that OEMs can use and develop all these offerings for themselves and their customers. The challenges lie not only in data organization for the OEM or supplier but also in the integration and interaction of the various platforms.
Above all, it is about connecting the car with the surrounding infrastructure to create a new user experience. By addressing these challenges, CBS experts play a crucial role in shaping the future of automotive technology, driving innovation, and transforming the industry.
Smart Mobility is the added value from Connected Services, says Markus Obermaier, Director Cloud & Backend Services at intive.
Markus Obermaier, Director Cloud & Backend Services (CBS)
Markus, what added value does the cloud really offer?
Markus: Imagine that you are driving through the city. While you are at the traffic light, your display shows you how long is left until the light changes. When you drive past the parking garage, you can see on the dashboard how many spaces are still available and on which level in the parking garage these spaces are located. These are all concrete added values for you, the driver. But that can only be done by networking all these isolated applications, and that can only be done with the cloud. By addressing these needs, the OEM, as a central service provider, can win customers and create new business models.
What is the challenge for OEMs when it comes to Cloud & Backend?
Markus: The challenge lies in the speed and intensity of the transformation. The larger a company is, the more difficult it is to react quickly to market demands. The age of the cloud brings many challenges, from data management to security issues to standards and processes. In the past, you had your ISO standard that you complied with, and that more or less solved the security issue. Nowadays, data and services are leaving the confines of the factory floor, so OEMs need to be dynamic to meet security demands that will only become more complex in the future.
On the other hand, being able to network existing isolated solutions allows OEMs to outsource internal tasks. Google Maps runs on almost every navigation device today, replacing dozens of elaborately programmed proprietary solutions. This can be an advantage and cost-saver for manufacturers – or a hard-to-beat competitor. In the end, it's the added value for the user that counts.
What role do Cloud & Backend play in the user experience?
Markus: In the past, the user experience of a product was more tied to the backend than it is today. An app used to consist of a single block that had to be painstakingly developed and maintained. To change something in data or design, you needed a new version of both. Today, we provide the data from the backend via the interface, and the frontend can be developed independently. So, the same data can be offered in completely different ways, and frontend developers have more freedom to focus fully on the user experience.
Cloud & Backend Services thus provide the prerequisite for a better user experience. We provide the infrastructure that users trust. Convenience and security come down to a robust and reliable infrastructure.
Conclusion: Added value through networking
The biggest argument for increasing connectivity is the added value that comes from access to Connected Services. The more truly valuable services the automaker offers, the easier it can penetrate new business areas otherwise occupied by other players.
Just take map services, navigation, weather forecasts, or music and entertainment. Customers demand and use these services, regardless of whether the vehicle offers them or not. When in doubt over the vehicle’s systems, users bring in their own services using their smartphone and ignore the OEM's proprietary offerings.
As a pioneer in automotive software development services, we at intive have helped shape the digital transformation of the automotive industry in Germany and use our extensive experience to give our customers a competitive edge.
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