I think, it is always fun to talk about next disruption. When you are doing so, you have a real feeling something happens. Therefore, I had a real pleasure to read Jim Brown’s ClarityOnPlm about future PLM disruption. The name of the blog “Who will disrupt entrenched PLM vendors” was promising and discussion around this topic was interesting. Take your time and read it via this link.
Few takeaways from Jim’s blog:
1. PLM market is very slow, political and hardly can be disrupted
2. Mindshare PLM leaders will have enough time to react on any future disruption by acquisition or their own development.
3. PLM stuff is complex and big technology leaders (Google, Microsoft, etc.) will have no interest to be involved in this business.
So, for foreseeable future, large PLM and ERP vendors will continue to represent leadership on the PLM market. Nevertheless, few technological and business models related aspects were mentioned by Jim as one of the possible future scenarios.
In parallel, I had chance to read Dion Hinchcliffe’s blog post – The App Store: The new “must have” digital business model and another one that came today about coming Google’s announcement related to Google App store availability next week. These two publications as well as one of my previous posts on PLM Think Tank – Where is the PLM shortcut to the cloud?, made me think about App Store as a future disruptive technological and business model for PLM.
A very iteresting picture made by Dion in one of his blog. The concept of business apps delivered from App Store seems solid and promise for enterprise. However, is it the same for enterprise PLM?
I summarized my initial thoughts about pros and cons of Google based Business Apps.
Google App Store Advantages:
1. Lower cost of application development.
2. Re-use of globally available platform
3. Availability of general purpose Google Apps and collaboration tools
3. Integration with other Google Apps
Google App Store Disadvantages:
1. Security concern
2. Adoption level in the enterprise
3. Shortage of development skills in enterprise domain for such platform.
As I can see, one of the key inflation points for Google Apps, will be multiple application availability and enterprise adoption rate. Today is insignificant, but tomorrow can be different. As I mentioned in my comment on Jim’s blog, the interesting potential for PLM apps on Google’s platform can be provided by growing collaborative capabilities provided by Google Wave. Still in the early beginning, Google Wave is a very promising collaboration tool. App store business model is something has that never been used in PLM domain. When existing business model innovators are going after SaaS (Arena) or Open Source (Aras), nobody is looking into potentials of Enterprise App Store. Salesforce is an interesting example to learn with regards to that.
What is my conclusion? App Store business model for the enterprise companies seems as a very interesting idea. The application built on one of the available app stores (Google, Salesforce or others) can represent a potential disruption in PLM domain. However, to make it happen, these platforms need to get to the next maturity level. Therefore, I think, we need to watch how cloud office applications are moving into the enterprise domain. This can be a real indicator for available business case. Potential disruption will not come from either technological or business direction, but will use both in co-existent mode.
Just my thoughts… I’m looking forward to your comments.