I had a chance to speak at PI Congress Boston yesterday. The topic of my presentation was to raise awareness about misalignment between major mature PLM platforms, realities of manufacturing business today and new technological and business platform – internet.
Environment and technologies are changing fast. Over the past 10-15 years internet, cloud and mobile made a revolution in the way we live. Businesses have the same demand to leverage technologies to improve their operation, but not only. The technological shift is so fundamental that it changes the nature of business environment, disrupting existing companies and business models.
Internet is a new platform for business. Those companies that understood the transformative level internet as a platform brings to manufacturing will succeed in the future business. There are multiple examples of how re-imagining enterprise software. It won’t happen overnight. The approach we can see in the enterprise is to innovate by segment. Don’t try to replace a complete enterprise software landscape, but replace a specific process. Few examples – payment process, customer care process, Visitor management process, etc.
Internet is also changing the nature of products and business opportunity in front of manufacturing. It comes down to the ability not only sell hardware, but also selling software services based on this products. Together with that we can see significant trends changing value chain and production economics. In parallel, the demand of customers today is to get personally configured products. The era of mass-customization is coming.
The reality of major PLM platforms today is the fact most of technologies and platform foundation is going back to 1990s. All PLM platforms are presenting so called ORM (object relational modeler) on top of RDBMs technologies. Nothing wrong with RDBMs, but last 10-15 years of web, cloud and internet developed created lot of new technologies that can better fit the new reality of business and technological environment.
Existing PLM platforms reached a plateau – slow ROI, costly, slow to bring new features and changes. SMEs do not have the resources to throw at large evaluation and deployment projects and larger companies are dissatisfied with a technology that has changed very little in the 10-20 years since its roll-out and offers limited short-term ROI.
You can see below slide deck of my presentation.
What is my conclusion? The disconnect between customer demands and platform capabilities has led to the need to ask some very important questions as to the future of the PLM industry and the need for change to avoid extinction. Existing PLM paradigm represents a major conflict between the way companies are operating in the reality of internet driven enterprise. It brings a new to re-think the way we manage data and business processes. Just my thoughts…