PLM software is going through a phase of transformation. Cloud opportunity is here and everyone in the market is going to embrace it. However, for many manufacturing companies “cloud” is just a technological buzzword. While almost every PLM company in the world today is offering some sort of “cloud” strategy, the decision about what is the right cloud is not simple.
Last week I had a chance to share my comments about different cloud options introduced by Jim Brown in his recent e-book – e-Book: Cloud options for product innovation and development.
Jim’s e-book made me think about how to create a simple flowchart helping manufacturing companies to decide about cloud PLM strategy. Here is my version of selection process in 4 steps:
First of all, you don’t have to make a decision about cloud PLM this year. Cloud technologies and tools are evolving, so if you’re not sure about this, just come next year.
If you already have PLM system in place, check with your PLM vendor. It can be a good source of information about how to leverage cloud technology and preserve the investment into PLM technology.
To check about other cloud software used in your company is another validation point that can help you to make a decision about cloud PLM. Also, company cloud policy is another validation point.
With all such information, you have 3 basic options – (1) check SaaS PLM or related cloud services to share and manage data in the cloud; (2) check how to host PLM system using public or private cloud or (3) check next year.
What is my conclusion? Although upfront cloud PLM decision seems to be complex, the reality is much easier if you come with some contextual information about what stage of cloud and PLM development is your company. Start from simple constraints and you can simplify it. Also, cloud decision is not for 10 years. Cloud PLM space is changing fast, so whatever decision you’re taking today, you will probably re-evaluate it in few years. Just my thoughts…
Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.