Social Intranet and PLM Apps

Social Intranet and PLM Apps

One of the very interesting trends in the modern IT, I’m observing these days is adopting consumer technologies in the enterprise. In general, I can see Information technologies are in the crossroad of decisions about how to adopt fast growing technologies coming from consumer space. Two of them which have the biggest influence is social intranet and mobility. I had a chance to read Dion Hinchcliffe’s Making Enterprise Application Social article. You can have a read and make your opinion. In my view, Dion is coming very close to the point of how multiple enterprise platforms will be adopting social capabilities.

Walled Garden of Enterprise Apps

These days, large product suites are dominant in the enterprise. For the last 10 years, big  enterprise software providers made a big number of acquisitions. It was a very natural way. Customers demand vertical integration and was interested to work with fewer numbers of suppliers. Service organizations got their preferences in work with multiple platform and enterprise application providers. The integration between enterprise application was complicated and was covered for service organizations. Horizontal application suites such as Business Process Management were focused on how to get vertical applications delivered to customers.

Intranet, Social Identity and Apps Stores

The following pic from Dion’s blog presented an interesting view on the direction, enterprise application landscape will be moving. The key role in this landscape change belongs to changes in Intranet organization.

In my view, the key word here is “disintegration”. Opposite to a very strong trend of vertical integration, disintegration will introduce social identity and related to these standards like OpenSocial as a mechanism to break enterprise product suites into Enterprise App Stores. I think, we are in the early beginning of this process. However, enterprise company are starting to get this point. For most of them today, is just an understanding of the fact Large Monolithic PLM Implementations are A Thing of the Past.

PLM App Store Crossroads

What all this mean for PLM products? For the last few years, PLM vendors made a significant effort in integration of application portfolios. It was positive from the standpoint of their optimization. It resulted in large portfolios of applications focused on product development processes. I think, PLM vendors started to understand the importance of granular approach to application suites. I can see the intro of PTC Creo AnyRole as a first sign in the overall Applification movement. I can see other PLM vendors are standing in the crossroad to decide what will be the future portfolio and product organization.  In my view, understanding of vendors like Jive and Jive Market, can provide additional ideas.

What is my conclusion? Social intranet can become a mechanism to break walled garden of massive enterprise platforms. We are still far from this point. However, I’d expect to see some fast mover in this space. Openness to the social intranet is a key to survive in the future world of enterprise application. The standard like Open Social, can be a first natural way to connect pieces of enterprise applications, including PLM, in future Enterprise App Stores. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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