Cloud is an opportunity to set open standards for PLM

Cloud is an opportunity to set open standards for PLM


One of the topic that usually drives lot of attention in engineering software is standards. Or absence of standards. The story of standards goes back long way to CAD formats and multi-CAD universe. I’ve been touching topic of standards and PLM earlier. Catch up on my posts – CAD/PLM standards and toothbrush problem and PLM standards: from formats to frameworks.

With the raise of cloud technology development, the question I wanted to ask how it will impact future standards creation. Does cloud provides a better grounds to build standards in services, data exchange and communication?

InfoWorld article Open standards face an uphill climb in the cloud bring a perspective on cloud standards and enterprises. The interesting thing here – we can see again the challenge standards are facing to compete with established large vendors. The following passage summarizes the situation:

Despite initial enthusiasm for open technologies, enterprises are favoring proprietary big-name cloud providers.When it comes to cloud standards, enterprises voted with their dollars. Most have focused more on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google offerings than on standards such as OpenStack and CloudStack. Of course, AWS, Microsoft, and Google are cloud services providers, whereas open standards are enabling technologies. But vendors that have built their public and private cloud offerings around a standard (usually OpenStack) have not been on the short list of cloud technology providers for most enterprises. In fact, most vendors that pledged allegiance to open standards years ago — including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Rackspace — have been largely overlooked by enterprises, which are mostly instead choosing AWS, Azure, and Google.

What is my conclusion? Cloud can revolutionize technological stack used in enterprise. This is an opportunity for companies to choose open standards, which will provide more openness and support establishment of new open PLM platforms. However, it is not happening yet. While large enterprise manufacturing voting with dollars and focusing on AWS, Azure and Google, small companies and individual makers can find cloud software using open standards as an interesting option. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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  • It’s idealistic to think of the Cloud as the ultimate egalitarian infrastructure, as least at these early stages with Amazon so far ahead of everyone else. There’s money to be made, and open standards are stifled by that momentum. With respect to companies, whatever their desires might be they don’t have much choice – they either go with Amazon or their ilk or stay stuck in the on-premise world. The choice won’t become important until cloud adoption reaches parity – solutions commoditize and additional differentiators are then needed. Sort of what we’re seeing play out with basic storage these days.

  • beyondplm

    Ed, what parity are you talking about? IMO, people are expecting information to be shared differently in cloud environment. This is not purely technological thing, but a combination of technology and influence of web. The demand for sharing can help to move towards better agreements about standards. It will be supported by web/cloud tech and potentially can become a turning point.

  • Market parity. Amazon has too much of a head start for now with a price and volume advantage. The market is still young, as it matures pricing will stabilize across providers and that will be the opportunity for deeper differentiation. IMHO, That will be the best time for at least one provider to adopt an open platform. Doing it now only gets them steamrolled.

  • beyondplm

    Ed, fair point. However, it applies to IaaS mostly and partially to PaaS layers. However, my point is more related to SaaS applications. They should become more open and share data. Don’t you think so?

  • Sure, they should share – at least from a PLM specific perspective. What gets it all twisted is that most of the IaaS providers are also in the PaaS business, cases in point: Amazon (Zocalo), Google (Docs), Microsoft (Office 365). Those aren’t PLM in of themselves, but they are a piece of the puzzle.