Why PLM Scares Me?

Following my previous post about how PLM can go to mainstream, I had chance to discuss this topic with some of my colleagues. We came to some initial conclusions that I’d like to share with my blog readers. Let me put upfront some assumption with regards to main trends I see happens in computer industry and enterprise software.

One of them is a trend for “simplicity”.  This is the biggest trend I see across many of the software systems during the past years. In my view, Google is staying first in the line and promoting the most simple user experience ever – single line. Following Google, I can mention Apple with their multiple products, also promoting simple approach. Almost in an enterprise software world, I can mention Microsoft SharePoint approach, as something maybe not very simple, but definitely less complex comparing to everything else you see around. So, my conclusion is that simplicity created strong trend toward user acceptance and understanding.

At the same time, Product Lifecycle Management became mature and prove success in companies and industries. The strategy of PLM was to move toward ability to support overall product lifecycle and because of that, PLM wanted to gather more and more processes, information, connection with other systems and people interaction. As a consequence of this PLM came to “maturity phase” and… overcomplicating. We got a system that can be deployed in global organizations, manage complex product structures, organization processes, supply chain and more. However, obvious price was big and complicated environment.

So, what happened as a result. Two trends “simplicity” and “PLM maturity” had actually different directions. User demands for simple and elegant solutions came in conflict with mature and complicated PLM deployments. What solution do I see for this situation? In my view, PLM providers understood situation and their immediate answer for short term was as following: 1/best practices; 2/industry approach; 3/education. We had chance to see these trends in strategies of all PLM providers. Would you ask me – is it enough? No, I don’t think so. I think a current “state of the art PLMs” are scaring users and prevent PLM from mainstream deployment.

Just my opinion.

Best, Oleg.


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