3 ways to disrupt PLM today

3 ways to disrupt PLM today

Disruptive innovation, technologies, products, services… I think we like the word “disruption” these days. This is such a tasteful and colored word. It can provide a new look to anything that goes afterwards. So, let me see if I can put a disruptive color on PLM. I’ve been reading Jos Voskuil blog – PLM at risk–it does not have a single, clear job!

Jos was taking on a main reason why PLM is so vulnerable to disruption – PLM role is not well defined. Here is an important passage from his post:

Recently, I attended an HBR Webinar “Innovating over the Horizon: How to Survive Disruption and Thrive” , which raises serious implications for PLM. As presented by Clayton Christensen and Max Wessel, both professors in the Harvard Business School, I foresaw numerous consequences demanding attention. I’d like to highlight some observations for you: 1/ Disruptive innovation will hit any domain – so also the PLM domain; 2/ You are less impacted if your products/services are targeting a job to be done; 3/ ERP has a well defined job – so not much discussion there; 4/ PLM does not have a clear job – so vulnerable for disruption; 5/ Will PLM disappear.

Jos’ post made me think about PLM and disruptive innovation. It took me back to to my post last year – PLM: Cloud and Open Source Disruptive Trajectories. I wanted to identify three main directions that can help companies to innovate and disrupt PLM these days. Here they are complexity elimination, crossing technological barriers and significant cost saving. Let me speak about each of them separately.

1. Same functionality, but eliminate complexity

Do we need more functionality? Probably yes. However, even large customers like Boeing are questing more usability these days and not more functionality. Usability is a hard problem. It requires lots of time, dedication and fine tuning during the development. However, it pays off in full. To focus on how to eliminate complexity can be very disruptive by delivery new generation of PLM products.

2. Break technological barriers 

Technology is changing fast. What was impossible 5 years ago, today becomes a mainstream. Lots of PLM products today were developed by technologies of 1990s. Internet technologies applied to PLM field can provide a lot of interesting options – visualization, social networking, augment reality, 3D printing, data analytics – this is only a short list of possibilities.

3. Alternative business models 

Last, but not least way for potential disruption. Business models. Think about alternative cost models, rents, services, advertising, crowdsourcing, open source, etc. The traditional way to sell software won’t go away. However, customers are intensively looking how to pay less. Companies that will succeed to find a new way to innovate with business models can get be successful in the next decade.

What is my conclusion? Enterprise software is an interesting place these days. Lots of things was unchanged for many years. The critical mass of product innovation, technological changes and business alternatives are under way to create a disruptive wave of next PLM technologies. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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