Dedicated MOT computers will be switched off and the cloud will be switched on when the MOT test moves to a cloud software solution in September this year.

Currently, all MOT test results are recorded on a special computer in the MOT test centre known as a ‘VTS device’, however, this will no longer be operational when the new web-based service replaces it later this year.

By switching to the cloud, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency hopes to offer a system which is flexible and innovative as well as allowing for updates which are automatically enjoyed by the users with no additional investment or installs. Like any cloud-based system, the new MOT test service will benefit from the highest levels of security, will have the ability to scale up when required and additional users can simply be given access.

In a short video, the DVSA explains how the end of its computer contract with ATOS provided the opportunity to build a new modern system which takes advantage of the cloud. All testers need is an internet connection and they can use any device to log-on which means those with hand-held devices can undertake the MOT and log the results in real time as they asses the vehicle. The overriding principle is simplicity. Creating the new system has also meant a fresh, contemporary design to aid the keying in of test results has been developed. It includes ‘pop ups’ providing quick and easy explanations and has also been designed so it won’t be necessary to cross reference with a manual because everything can be accessed easily on screen.

The question for independent MOT test centres is just as simple: are you ready for the change?

In fact, most centres are likely to have everything they need to accommodate the changeover – a device, be it tablet, PC or laptop, and an internet connection. However, the DVSA is asking all MOT test centre approved examiners (AEs) to check and if necessary update their email addresses on the current VTS computer to aid the changeover process and to keep up-to-date with latest information and training tools on the new system.

The new web-based system is being rolled out to AEs on an individual basis throughout April to August with the ‘switch off’ of the old computer system scheduled for September. Another online video (https://mattersoftesting.blog.gov.uk/video-new-mot-testing-service-demo/ )also explains how the system works and takes users through some of the screens they will be utilising.

Moving the entire MOT system to the cloud is a powerful endorsement to cloud solutions by the government and could see more and more independent garages considering the cloud for their own workshop management processes.

Cloud-based systems provide small businesses with the means to access the kind of high level IT solutions which had only previously been found in large organisations and corporations. Managed and maintained by some of the biggest names in IT such as Microsoft and Google, the cloud as an IT solution is gaining popularity at an incredible pace. Benefits include being able to access business data, information and systems from anywhere, at any time and on any device as long as there is an internet connection thereby providing small businesses such as independent garage owners with the means to run their business on the move and from the comfort of their living rooms out-of-hours. Arguably, the two top benefits are the high levels of security, until now out-of-reach for most SMEs, and the fact that users will always be utilising the latest version of whatever application they need for their business be it an accounts package, workshop management system or customer database, or, as it will be for the more astute, a system which incorporates everything the garage owner needs to operate efficiently and securely.


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