Choose the platform for your software becomes a new issue in 2010s. Platform was kind of easy story for the last 10-15 years. You had a choice of market share leaders, blue chip companies and that’s it. You cannot get wrong by signing a contract with IBM. This is what people told me a decade ago. Not anymore, in my view… The future choice of a technological platform can be a bit more complicated. I read the article Burning Chrome by TechCruch few days ago. Have a read and make your opinion. This is my favorite passage from this article:
Google’s long-term strategy seems to be to supplant Microsoft by first building the best browser, then making it easy to move your files to Google Docs; and finally, slowly but inexorably, making Windows and Office irrelevant. Obviously no one will abandon Microsoft products wholesale anytime soon; but as cloud computing grows more ubiquitous, Google steadily iterates feature after feature, and people grow accustomed to working in the browser, then one day, maybe only a couple of years from now, a whole lot of people – and businesses – will begin to think to themselves “Hey, we haven’t actually needed Windows or Office in months. Why do we even have them at all?”
CAD/PLM and Technological Platforms
CAD vendors successfully leveraged various technological platforms in the past. Think about Autodesk and PC back in 1980s and SolidWorks and Windows in 1990s. PDM/PLM made their own play with technologies and platforms too. Windows-based PDMs in the last 1990s and early 2000s presented some approach about how to apply Windows based user experience to improve the quality of tools. The overall cost of these systems went down at the same time. Web-based development also provided some great examples of successfully implementation PLM systems.
The question I’m asking myself is what next. I can see some interesting trials these days by CAD and PLM developers to leverage existing technological platforms and innovations. Few of them to be mentioned. PTC ProductPoint presents a massive usage of Microsoft SharePoint. Another interesting example is trying to leverage social technology (3DSwYm, Vuuch). Cloud experiments of Autodesk in something they called “infinite computing“. All these examples are promising. However, I have a feeling of something missing.
What is my conclusion? “A good player goes where the puck is. A great player goes where the puck is going to be”—The Great One. I can think about Chrome as one of the next innovative platforms PM can leverage. The biggest problem PLM companies are trying to resolve already many years are cost of the deployment and mainstream deployment. To make a system to proliferate together with Google’s idea of network computer can be an interesting strategic move. Just my thoughts…