There can be little argument that telematics is one of the top technological developments in the history of fleet management. With the technology becoming ubiquitous among fleets, there’s also little doubt that telematics — in whatever direction it evolves — is here to stay.
And evolution is a mainstay of telematics. Like much of today’s digital technology, telematics never seems to stand still. There always seems to be something new just on the horizon.
So, as we’re nearing the end of 2018, it’s a good time to dust off the proverbial crystal ball and gaze ahead into what may be in store for 2019.
Data has become the hallmark and underlying value of all telematics systems. Transparency into every aspect of a fleet’s operations is crucial to meet customer needs, be efficient, and ultimately to be profitable.
But data is only the first step — being able to analyze that data and turn it into meaningful insights allows fleets to accurately measure key performance indicators (KPIs) and vehicle total cost of ownership (TCO) to meet their operational missions in a data-rich context.
And fleets will be getting more of this in 2019. Analytics within telematics programs will get better in the coming year, giving fleets even more insights and ability to turn the flood of raw data cascading from the fleet’s vehicles into meaningful and profitable action.
It’s no secret that cyberattacks have become a permanent fixture of the digital landscape — even a cursory survey of a daily news cycle will likely contain at least one report of a cyber breach of some sort.
And, because of this, fleets — both in the commercial and government — need to be ever vigilant in securing their sensitive or private data.
In 2019, fleets will see an increasing and effective focus on new protocols and methods that telematics providers will be using to keep important data secure and confidential.
GPS Insight, in particular, has robust protocols in place that will allow fleet managers to have the peace of mind needed to rely on their GPS Insight telematics solutions. Specifically, GPS Insight is SOC-II Compliant, which means auditors from the American Institute of Certified Accountants spent over three months with us to determine that we have over 100 security controls in place to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and secure availability of the data our solutions capture.
In addition, GPS Insight recently joined an elite fraternity of just 200 organizations worldwide that have attained FedRAMP Ready status, requiring us to apply over 300 security controls to ensure system security for customer data.
While cybersecurity should be a top-of-mind concern in the digital age, fleets will see that their telematics partners are meeting the challenge so they can feel confident that their data is secure.
Telematics’ analytical capabilities are only the beginning of the business intelligence that fleets will be able to get in 2019. The increasing ability to integrate with other enterprise systems will be another benefit fleets, and their companies will see in the coming year.
Some of the integrations will be individually and directly related to traditional fleet operations, such as telematics and fuel card or telematics and dispatching integrations, but there will also be increasing integrations into the broader scope of the enterprise, including with mobile workforce management, ERP software, and business management software.
All of the data coming in will now be available in a centralized repository, often within a single dashboard view and login, eliminating information silos that can hinder the effectiveness of the entire company — causing inefficiencies, redundancies, and loss of profits.
The ability to integrate an increasing number of fleet and business functions with a telematics solution relates to the ever-evolving and insightful analytical insights discussed above — think of integration as a way to supercharge business intelligence — which gives you an even more comprehensive picture into fleet operations and how they fit into and impact the overall enterprise.
Insights gained from more integrations with fleet and business solutions will help fleet and risk personnel, field managers, and company leadership make better, more informed decisions to improve day-to-day operations, long-term growth, and the bottom line.
While it’s always risky to make bold predictions about a coming year — history shows predictions, particularly about technology, are often spectacularly wrong — and the above indeed may not come wholly to pass, one prediction that is likely to come true is that 2019 will be a year of ongoing technological change and development. Change is the fundamental truth of fleet management.
The only question that fleets need to answer is: are they ready to embrace a bold future or do they want to live in the past?