I would like to speak about PDM today. You can hardly find engineers that like data management. For many years, Product Data Management (PDM) kept the score of inevitable evil in engineering and manufacturing software. Everybody wants data, but nobody want to manage it. At the same time, even if PDM is quite challenging in terms of implementation, it brings a lot of benefits. Navigate to the following link to read Jim Browns’ Best Practices for Managing Data. Data sharing is one of the most important aspects PDM is supposed to solve. Difficulties to share data with internal and external colleagues is one of the most critical aspects of data management.
However, the problem of files sharing is relevant outside of PDM too. Consumerization is one of the strongest technological trends these days. Few days ago, the following CMSwire article and infographic caught my attention – The evolution of file sharing. The article speaks about mobility and mobile access. Take a look on the picture – it is self explaining.
It is interesting to see how data security was one of the key important aspects related to enabling of data sharing even back in 1950s. The following passage was my favorite:
Concern over who is accessing what files is not unique to the use of mobile devices. In the Mad Men era of the 1960s, sensitive files were kept under lock and key in cabinets. Only people with physical keys could access those files and information, and careful lists of those with access were kept. However, the widespread use of inventions like the copier by the 1950s and the fax machine by the 1960s introduced new security threats as these documents could then be replicated.
Mobile and cloud technologies are revolutionizing data sharing paradigms. One of examples I specially like is Chrome tabs access across devices. If you are using Chrome browser, you can share the information open between different browsers in different devices.
What is my conclusion? Technological landscape is changing very fast these days. The fundamentals of PDM were invented 15-20 years ago. I don’t think these fundamental assumptions will survive under new requirements coming with mobile access revolution. Technology and shift in workforce will be driving a new wave of innovation in manufacturing. The technology will become more transparent for users and more sophisticated internally. It is a time to re-think paradigm. Files and data need to be shared, but technology should be invisible. Just my thoughts…
Infographic credit to CMSWire article.