I have been discussing Cloud-related topics on PLM Think Tank actively since last year. I think, the term is hugely overloaded, I can see horizons where cloud becomes a kind of reality for engineering and manufacturing software. This is still not much real, up and running solutions. However, there is a constant stream of attention, awareness and trials that is coming from multiple providers in CAD/PLM space.
So, Cloud is coming and this is a perfect time to talk about… Cloud 2. It sounds crazy… huh? No, I don’t think so. On September 23, Salesforce.com released Salesforce.com Chatter. Mark Benioff and the team presented his vision of Cloud 2 on their conference couple of a month ago. I had chance to get some materials and videos about that reviewed during this week. It made me to think about some interesting behaviors and characteristics Salesforce’s Cloud 2 definition in the context of Product Lifecycle Management.
If you have time, take yourself on the following two videos, otherwise, proceed to my takeaways below.
Cloud 2: Takeaways
There is a huge shift happens in how we are using devices. The massive increase in notebook and mobility created a structural shift in how people are starting to use the internet. This is going to impact the environment in the offices and other professional zones.
Cost, ease of use, infrastructure, content creation, services are in the past of Cloud 1. The fundamental shift is going towards to the collaborative environment of the future — new devices, real time, social environment.
Thank you Amazon, welcome Facebook! This is another major shift in application behavior. It is worth reading some of Benioff’s posts about Facebook’s imperative.
Here are some of my Cloud-2 thinking about how it impacts PLM.
Organization Is Flat and Real-Timed
This is a major organizational shift that PLM needs to learn. Fewer processes, fewer hierarchies, fewer predefined events. More flexibility, ad-hoc, connections and real-time updates.
Product Data with no boundaries
Data need to be available to be able to collaborate on top of all ad-hoc processes. You cannot lock it down to formats, applications, departments. Company’s strategies on data lock-in and data protection are going to die under the pressure of customers to be able to collaborate and share.
Context, Context, Context…
The next king on the road is a context. To be able to work, contextually and having all what you need for decision making, becomes a key. It will be very interesting to see how to bring a new contextual formula to engineers in the organization.
What is my conclusion today? Cloud 2 is coming. Regardless on our agreement and disagreement on names, we are going to see a significant shift in the way application will be delivered and used in the social environment. The question is not how to develop social applications. The right question is how to help people to live in a new environment and achieve their operational goals? Just my thoughts…