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Putting it together: Cloud consolidation for automotive

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Christian Ott
Christian Ott

Vehicles are no longer just about getting you from A to B. Arguably, they never truly have been. From luxury and comfort to aesthetics and green credentials, what people want from their vehicles is a fluid and complex topic.

Nowhere is this diversification of their role clearer than with the advent of software-defined vehicles. This digitalization is a fundamental leap, with vehicles becoming software products as much as they are hardware products.

This shift offers automakers a chance to stand out in a competitive market. And it also offers an avenue for increasing value across vehicle lifespans through entirely new software and service ecosystem, powered by over-the-air software updates and upgrades.

Understandably, automotive firms are scrambling to bolster their software capabilities and knowledge base and invest in cloud-native software infrastructure. The question is: how best to get there?

Connecting the dots for cloud services

For auto companies to gain the maximum value from transitioning to cloud services and infrastructure, they’ll need to tread unfamiliar ground. Traditionally, their data has been split across the divide between operational technology (OT) and IT,   but provisions will need to be made for data to become completely connected across organizations.

Currently, auto businesses have a huge array of contracts and services with cloud providers that could lead to shadow IT in the cloud. For instance, using AWS on the manufacturing shop floor and Azure for autonomous driving developments can make it complex to centrally manage their overall IT environment.

Adding further cloud services on top of this only makes it harder to use and access data in other parts of the organization, slowing the productivity and collaboration gains that cloud was implemented to achieve. Auto businesses aren't alone in this challenge; according to Flexera, "76% of enterprises say that a lack of resources and cloud expertise are among their top challenges." 

It’s crucial for automakers to take control of their applications and data to obtain value from untapped data sitting in silos. Ensuring that all cloud services are connected and manageable from a single platform will be critical, especially for staying ahead of the competition, satisfying customer needs, and taking advantage of market opportunities.

Where NetApp can help you

As specialists in cloud-led data services, we pride ourselves on unlocking the cloud’s true potential. Because our offerings are seamlessly integrated into every major public cloud provider, we can offer you a single data management experience—no matter the location or cloud services you choose.

Our integrated, enterprise-class services provide greater levels of control with functionality not offered natively by public cloud providers. This functionality includes data protection, governance, audit, compliance requirements, application performance, storage costs, and data availability and management capabilities. And you can manage all of them from a single control plane that offers complete monitoring and reporting systems.

By connecting your software-defined cloud infrastructure through our unified data fabric we can deliver data and apps to the right place, at the right time, and with the right capabilities—so you have effective control and simplified IT management. Better control means faster response times to changing market demands, and quicker market launches for new services.

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Check out the other solutions we offer:

If you’re ready to start putting all your clouds under one roof, get in touch with one of our specialists at Also check out our automotive Industry page.

Christian Ott

Christian Ott is NetApp’s CTO Industry Solutions. Industry solutions lie at the heart of NetApp’s industry-focused cloud solutions strategy, that empower customers to envision new opportunities and reach their transformation goals, across global industries. These include automotive, financial services, energy, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing and more. During his 10+ years at NetApp, Chris has held several positions in technical sales and management and was responsible for various customers in the semiconductor, manufacturing and automotive industries. In his free time Chris likes to swim, bike and run but it’s not enough for triathlon, yet. 

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