I read a blog post by Stephen Porter of Zero Wait State called – The PLM State: Why can’t we all just get along?. I think Stephen raised an important question of vendors co-existence in the engineering software ecosystem. It made me think about PLM Software Landscape and trends going around.
PLM and Enterprise Software Trends
In my view, there are few important things that happen today in PLM and engineering software world. I’d like to name few of them – vertical integration, increased speed of change and influence of consumer software. Vertical integration becomes more and more important in PLM. Customers are not interested to spend time integrating products. Customer demanded to have things integrated and work together from the beginning. It raises many questions about how vendors will maintain integrations. Speed of change represents growing dynamics of businesses. Engineering and PLM software will need to adjust their clocks with businesses. 12 months changes processes seems to be as something that business will stop accepting very soon. The cost of change becomes even more important. It raises a lot of questions related to traditional software release frames and speed of updates. Influence of consumer software becomes crucial. I think, we love all new applications and devices that came to use for the last 5-7 years. You can see a clear difference between “weekend life” and “business week” life. I can see a clear demand of customers to adopt “consumer behaviors” in the enterprise.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
This is another very important aspect to mention. During the last 10-15 years, PLM and other enterprise software companies tried to apply best practices and other strategies related to software product unification. My conclusion after these years is simple – one size doesn’t fit all. The need for diversification becomes more and more clear. Solutions are moving towards customization and differentiations of users in the organization. It will imply a growing amount of multi-vendor software use by customers.
Focus on Customers
Last, but definitely not least. The relationships between customer and vendors are moving in a very interesting direction. It reflects the overall software trends towards openness and customer excellence. The growing amount of Open Source, SaaS and other new business models will decrease customer’s lock-in on a specific software. It reflected in what customers will be looking for in the future PLM and Engineering Software.
What is my conclusion? I think, changes are coming to PLM Jungle from the outside world. Current models will not survive. The wave towards more dynamic business, openness, and customer un-locking is too strong to ignore.