PLM and The Future Of Files In Organizations

Thanks for one of my readers who sent me the link to Wrench Enterprise. Their presentation about project collaboration and file sharing, made me think about files in enterprise organization. I think, even after many years of web oriented applications and implementations, files remain a very important piece of every enterprise organization. The collaboration between different people in the organization with involvement of files is growing, in my view. I see few interesting trends in the future of files in the engineering and enterprise organizations.

First, let’s where all these files are coming from. The significant piece of files comes from CAD/CAE applications. They have been targeted by multiple PDM Applications for the last 15-20 years with variable success, in my view. Another significant chunk of files comes from Office applications – Emails, Word, PowerPoint and, of course, the King of the road – Excel (or an alternative spreadsheet application). The third big part of files is various outcomes / reports from multiple engineering and enterprise applications. So, what will happen with all these files in the future? What organizations will do with this huge amount of files?

Here is my take on this. I can see possible three trends related to the future of files in the engineering organization – (1) Dissolve in Web Apps; (2) Acquisition by Content Servers; (3) Migrate to Cloud Storage(s).

Dissolve in PLM Web Applications
This trend will present the future move to web type applications from desktop applications. In my view, it represents a strategic move, but at the same time it will be a relatively slow process. Enterprise and engineering organization is very conservative, and it will take a lot of time until the majority of web apps in the organization will be web based.

Acquisition by Enterprise Content Servers
This is an interesting one, in my view. Content Management can grow in enterprise organization. Content Management has a small presence in engineering compare to the traditional PLM folks. The growing amount of SharePoint-like solution, reminds me about the the future movement in this direction.

Migrate to Cloud Storage
The most un-realistic for the short term. Organization in general and engineering organization specifically wants to keep their data closely and this is directly related to IP protection. The security concerns are still high. However, I’d expect an interesting trend for small organizations to outsource and host their servers. And it means the solution will become a very practical soon.

I’m interested to hear your comments and thoughts, as usual.
Best, Oleg

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing a digital network platform that manages product data and connects manufacturers and their supply chain networks.



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