Even though, 2008 was year of financial crisis and instability, I still regard it as a remarkable year for the world of CAD and PLM. I will point out my view on the main technological, product and business achievements of the past year:
1. Importance of PLM technologies for the development of innovation product and processes
In the last year, we’ve heard a strong voice from companies reporting about product innovation and usage of PLM systems in this process. Innovation is considered as one the most important part of product development process, allowing to companies to invent new products and services. “In today’s challenging global market, enterprises must innovate to increase their market size, to bring significant value to their shareholders, customers, and employees, and in many cases to survive” ,said Peter Bilello ,a senior consultant with CIMdata, an Ann Arbor, MI-based PLM consulting and research firm.
2. Recognition of PLM value together with fast growing PLM industry sectors
The value of PLM products has been reflected in significant business growth of main PLM vendors as well as segments of the PLM market. Last year, I think, showed an increased awareness on top-executive levels about how PLM products can enhance product development process, increase profit, lower cost and improve quality of products. Analytic company, IDC, predicted beyond average market growth for the SMB segment of the PLM market. Small and Medium-Sized Business Enterprise Applications Market to Grow to $80.3 Billion by 2012, IDC FindsIndustry focus and PLM success for new industry segments like apparel and high-tech presented awareness and adoption.
3. Consolidation of PLM vendors
At the time of poor financial market performance, big vendors in the PLM space continued the process of consolidation and acquisition in order to improve their offerings. Multiple, relatively small acquisitions made by various companies has shown that vendors conducted market research and followed their plan of portfolio growth.
4. Remarkable technological achievements
Together with business achievements and market growth, I’d like to highlight a few remarkable technological trends and deliveries that companies made in 2008.
· Delivery of PLM 2.0 t presented a new concept for the future of PLM. In the same way Web 2.0 and social networks changed perception and presented a completely new concept for how people interact with viand through the internet (moving from static web pages to user-generated content and collaboration), PLM 2.0 is going to change the role of PLM technologies regarding how people l develop products in the future.
· CAD User Experience – this topic drew a significant interest by many manufacturers seeking to improve user adoption of 3D technologies. Direct modeling technologies released by existing PLM providers and product development by new companies definitely has shown a high interest of users and industry to popularize 3D technology and make it available for a wider user audience.
· Cloud computing. Even if this technology does not belong to PLM, I’d like to emphasize the significant importance of cloud computing and announcements made by large vendors in this area. Establishment of cloud services together with quality data centers will change the future of IT and the ability of companies to collaborate. Multiple technological demonstrations made by companies in this area has shown that vendors are learning this space, taking into account the user feedback in order to act upon this feedback the future.