How many PLM vendors disappear in disruption predicted by Gartner?

How many PLM vendors disappear in disruption predicted by Gartner?


Shake-ups are not a surprise these days. It happens all the time and especially in technological fields. The last decade of web, mobile and  consumer tech innovations established a solid feeling of something new happens all the time. This “something” will come and change a status quo. Disruption is a lovely word. Lots of major tech and web companies even didn’t exist a decade ago. Imagine you life without iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and many others.

However, enterprise field is a bit different. Still, there are lot of innovation and disruption. However, old vendors are alive and keep dominant positions. Here is a question – for how long? I’ve been reading Computerworld report from latest Gartner technological symposium. The report provides an interesting prediction with regards to the future of established IT vendors. Patrick Thibodeau of Computerworld is wring up in his summary:

“We know that most suppliers don’t dominate from one generation of IT to the next,” said Peter Sondergaard, Gartner’s research director. “Many of the vendors who are on the top today, like Cisco, Oracle, or Microsoft, may not be the leaders in the digital industrial economy.”

It made me think again about the trajectory of PLM and other enterprise software vendors. I remember Gartner presentation about PLM trends during PLM Innovation 2012 Congress in Munich. I summarized it in my post – PLM Perfect Storm 2012. Gartner’s Marc Halpern presented the following PLM market dynamics slide.


Will tech upheaval happen in CAD/PLM domain? Who will dominate PLM space in 3-5 years? Gartner’s slide is only focusing on established vendors. Even if it looks interesting, the most important question to ask is who is not on the slide? Who is still “innovating in the garage” and out of spotlight? Computerworld write up speaks about that as well:

“Gartner analysts warned that a data explosion threatens to overwhelm, sensors will be everywhere, 3-D printing will change everything, and smart machines will replace people. CIOs that don’t adapt will become simple custodians of back-end systems. Companies that fail to change will join Kodak, Blackberry and Wang, each of which was slow to recognize new forces in technology.”

What is my conclusion? There are not many vendors in CAD/PLM domains. Few large and established vendors are dominating this space and playing strong M&A activity which leads to future consolidation and elimination of small vendors. Will technological upheaval predicted by Gartner apply for PLM space? Does it mean we are going to see new players in the design and engineering domain leveraging new digital eco-system to gain market share? This is a time for PLM blue chip advisers and PLM IT managers to keep up to speed with what is going around. Tomorrow can be different. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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