PLM Reset 2011

PLM Reset 2011

Winter break is a time to make a traditional “lesson learned” or “next year” blog posts. I wanted to come with some thoughts about what I see happens in the industry and where the biggest shift is going to happen. The name “PLM Reset” comes to my mind as the most appropriate. For the past couple of years, I’ve been listening to quite many stories about how PLM was implemented in many companies. These stories made me think about a strong need to clean up the table of PLM implementations. Something that can improve PLM value proposition and make implementation more efficient.

Enterprise Trends
I can see few important enterprise trends happen now: cloud solutions, mobile enterprise, social and polygamous. All these trends will have a major influence on the future development of engineering and manufacturing systems as well as opportunities in this space.

Cloud Solutions will be one of the enterprise trends in 2011. IDC forecast IT spending will hit 1.6 trillion this year with 13% growth coming from software and services. The biggest growth will be in public cloud services. Cloud is not peripheral solution anymore. In 2010 Google proved that Google’s solutions are secured enough to serve GSA. Additional announcements came from Microsoft and other vendors involved into providing of cloud solutions. In my view, cloud can become a classic disruption story for the enterprise industry and software for engineering and manufacturing (including PLM) can take a significant benefits from that.

Mobile is a definite trend. I can see a tremendous success of iPad, iPhone and other devices. It leads to a lot of additional opportunities and changes in the enterprise landscape. All these devices are not completely ready for enterprise. However, the future development in cloud computing will make them connected to the enterprise cloud grid in a seamless way.

Social is another interesting story. I’ve been writing about social trends many times during the past year. In my view, “social” will be proliferating in organizations and will create a new connection system that will help to communicate in an organization. I can see a significant value of social component to improve PLM collaboration.

End of Microsoft’s dominance is another trend. Until now, most of the software used by enterprise were developed either in Redmond of Redwood Shores. Not anymore. We can see a significant growth in Apple adoption. Businesses are less interested in maintaining existing applications and looking how how to try something new that can help them to solve a problem in a different way. We will see also a massive adoption of software coming from employees.

Building a Simple PLM
In addition to the enterprise trends mentioned above, I can see a strong strive of enterprise organization to simplification. For many years, the complexity took a king role in the business of enterprise organization. In PLM, the complexity was a factor to justify high cost , services and implementations. The traditional PLM mind share in the enterprise – we need to have a complex solution to solve complex problems. Wrong! This is something that will be changed very soon. A very long time ago, Mark Twain wrote –  “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” The simplicity is very thought. However, there is no other option these days. It needs to be understood by vendors and customers.

What is my conclusion? In my view, PLM is definitely in the position to re-born. All trends I mentioned above plus a demand for a simpler solution will lead customers to hit “reset” button. “Business as usual” is not an option anymore. The disruption of cloud and influence of other trends will impact PLM and make a future move towards introduction of new solutions in 2011. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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  • Doug Macdonald

    Definitely time for a reset. PLM fails to give engineers the flexibility to work in the way that they need to, given the requirements of a situation, forcing them instead into “structured” (meaning pre-ordained) ways of working that add unnecessary steps. And it imposes a high overhead which is unacceptable given a typical engineer’s workload. Hence the widespread reluctance to use PDM for anything other than released documents. Management of “work in progress” falls to the individual engineer.
    One trend I’d add is search – this will be a key technology in any “PLM reset”.

  • beyondplm

    Doug, Thanks for the comment. I agree with you. Search is challenging. PLM companies are trying to work on this by OEM technologies and acquiring companies. Some of my thoughts about search:

    http://plmtwine.com/2010/06/10/plm-life-like-search-injection/
    http://beyondplm.com/2010/10/04/3d-shape-search-in-cad-and-plm/
    http://beyondplm.com/2010/09/08/plm-interest-to-enterprise-search/

    Best, Oleg