Editor's comment

MOT changes bring the cloud to the fore

Published:  25 February, 2015

Later this year, the DVSA will implement a change to the MOT, which will see the current system placed in the hands of the garages, while data will have to be entered online through the cloud. That does not have to be as scary a prospect as it sounds.

If that sounds like gobbledegook then don't worry, you are not alone. I don't pretend to be amazed by technology and I am of the iPhone generation, albeit a later end of it, yet I am still baffled by the cloud. I believe it to be an online storage area where I can log in and pull my data out, yet there is more to it and therefore more security is needed around it.

In September, all MOT stations will need their own computer system and internet access to be able to log vehicle details and print out certificates, with the current computers made redundant. For many garages this will not be a problem, there will already be a computer available. However, for some the computer where spreadsheets and accounts are kept may be in an upstairs office, or at home, rather than on the workshop floor. What is more worrying, a poll on the Aftermarket website shows that with these changes just six-months away, only 52% of respondents are aware that the system is changing. Six months to invest in new equipment and learn it ready for a switchover that is expected to happen instantly could be a big ask for some.

What this may serve to do however is to halt some garages from discounting the MOT while they recoup their investment in new computers. This brings its own problems. Back in June 2014 at the Aftermarket Round Table, the issue of the MOT was discussed, with the belief being that motorists find the annual test as a tax on the motorist and not as a necessity. It is therefore difficult for garages to be able to justify the MOT fee when garages are discounting.

However, while the system could be fallible to server issues, it is security where the public have their issues with online data storage. Information for their vehicle could be stolen in a hack and without information that the government's systems will be secure, the MOT could become a big talking point moving forward.

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