Cloud computing is particularly well suited to deal successfully with the challenges and opportunities of the auto industry, according to an Accenture report.

The consultants cited three business areas where Cloud computing can provide a major benefit: Handling multi-brand dealer operations, integrating new alliances and takeovers, and supporting the further development of in-vehicle infotainment.

In the dealership area, Accenture predicted the trend toward multi-brand operations will continue. This will require scalable systems that are flexible, low-cost and adaptable, it said in the report.

As carmakers merge or take over competitors, they also will need systems that allow the quick integration of new brands and will help quickly realize economies of scale.

“Of all the technology options currently available to the automotive industry, Cloud computing is the one that meets these sector-specific requirements the most fully and effectively,” Accenture said.

The growth of infotainment will also be a key factor in boosting automotive use of the Cloud, Accenture said. That is because demand for navigation and other infotainment features is set to rise sharply as the global trend toward mega-cities accelerates.

Currently, in-vehicle infotainment technology represents about 20 pc of the dollar value of a car, Accenture said. But it predicted that technology will account for more than 40 pc of a car’s dollar value by 2025.

“The rising importance of in-vehicle infotainment is one of the key factors that will drive OEMs across the automotive industry to adopt and apply cloud solutions,” Accenture predicted.

And it added: “We believe that widespread cloud adoption in the industry is a question of ”˜when,’ not ”˜if.’”