PLM trends in the intersection of Business and IT

plm-it-interestion-trendsYou can ask me why would you like to talk about trends? Trends are something normally going toward an end of the calendar year? Something like “2009 trends” or “future 2010 trends”… What’s up now?

I think, current turbulent time brings different time scale on everything we are doing. Businesses need to take decisions about what they are doing on going basis and not on calendar basis. So, thinking about various business needs and heading up to more active post-summer time, I decided to put few thoughts about PLM and surrounding topics.
I’d like to suggest to take a focus of two – Business and IT. And definitely, “business first” notion. In my view, prism of Business will have a very significant impact on everything that will go in Product Lifecycle Management in the near future.

So, I figured out four “major trends” and want to talk about them a little bit more in deep. I will take them in the order from most “business significant” to “more technologically significant”.

1. Upfront cost of PLM projects will impact enterprise PLM

I think initial cost of PLM projects becomes a very significant factor impacting various kinds of PLM implementations in enterprise these days. I’d expect every Business Unit thinking about PLM strategies to ask question how we can do the same with less cost? I see here various impacts coming from outside of PLM, such as development of “free software notion” in consumer space, OnDemand/SaaS models for CRM and partially ERP applications and, finally, bad perception about PLM implementation performance. I’d expect major business re-thinking in the way business will think about PLM and surrounding business applications. What does it mean for PLM vendors? My thoughts here mostly about alternative business models (free/open source) and new technologies that lower cost of PLM deployments.
2. Vertical PLM Solutions

PLM becomes very broad solution when vendors start to think in context of various industries, vertical, markets and organization types. One of the possible ways to become more efficient and increase adoption rate, is to focus PLM solutions/implementations on the specific market niche. The potential of a specific market niche/industry can be significant for mid-size software vendor to get in. Another interesting perspective is how “PLM behemoths” will be reacting on such a move. My expectation is for positive reaction and interest to build market/industry specific partnerships and alliances.

3. Alternative non-PLM solutions

This is another interesting move. Do you like buzzword “PLM”? I’d expect not everybody like it and many of the software vendors and solution providers can try to find solution for “PLM problem” in “non-PLM way”. The potential exists in multiple domains Business Process Management, MDM, Content Management etc. These companies, leveraging new technologies, infrastructure and ideas can compete to provide product development, engineering and manufacturing solutions in the same space occupied by PLM vendors. Even if I see potential risk for current PLM businesses as very low, I think risk for “white space” and “new business” is very significant.

4. PDM renaissance

Th  This is my last point. What can be done in PDM these days? PDM is a core of Product Lifecycle Management and provide basics data management capabilities for most of PLM deployments. At the same time, PDM is mature and provided by many vendors these days/ At the time when customers will be looking for more cost effective solutions, less overlap in business functions and additional optimization PDM can get “a second move”. Such PDM renaissance can be driven by new technologies, usability improvement and new business ideas. This is a pace to innovate in my view.

So far, I’m sure haven’t chance to make fundamental research. These are just my thoughts, and I wanted to share it with you. I will be waiting for your comments and great blog discussion.

Thanks, Oleg


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