CAD and PLM cloud surveys

CAD and PLM cloud surveys


Cloud computing is maturing, creating a host of opportunities for providers as more and more companies consider the technology for their IT needs. The shift toward cloud computing is one of the most significant trends that has impacted the global enterprise software market. In addition to that, enterprise mobility solutions (BYOD) have increased the adoption and implementation of enterprise platforms.  Combining with growing demand for business intelligence and analytics, new cloud computation platforms open the door for new opportunities in enterprise software market.

But the devils is in details. Engineering software (CAD, PDM, PLM) has to deal with numerous drawbacks associated with customization and flexibility of the software, high cost of implementation and complexity of migration. If cloud systems can overcome these issues, benefits of cloud technologies can become obvious for many organizations.

In CAD and PLM, the question is on the table if engineering and manufacturing software will grow its cloud component at the same speed as rest of IT SaaS market. Earlier this month I’ve been exposed to two independent researches about CAD, PLM and penetration of cloud software.

The first one came from CIMdata PLM industry and market forum. CIMdata is running user research sponsored by all major PLM vendors to provide an insight about what stands between cloud PLM heaven and PLM vendors. Cloud adoption is expanding in other enterprise software categories, but more slowly in PLM. The major PLM solution providers are talking about cloud, but are their cloud revenues material? In this session, CIMdata will discuss the state of cloud PLM, some successes to date, and where the market needs to go. More information about the status of PLM in the cloud is here. I captured following slides during CIMdata forum in Ann Arbor, MI few weeks ago.


The following poll was done during CIMdata forum among vendors participating in the meeting. The results are not scientific, but you might find them interesting.


According to Stan Przybylinski, Vice President of Research, CIMdata, vendors should be more vocal about benefits of new approach and also present clear differentiation between on-premise and various cloud options.

I came across a second research by Business Advantage last week at COFES 2017 event in Scottsdale, AZ. Navigate to the following CADalyst article for more details here.


Approximately 15% of companies are using or implementing CAD in the cloud solutions, according to the survey, and 12% are considering implementation in the next year or beyond. Another 22% are still evaluating it, leaving 17% that have evaluated and rejected cloud-based CAD and 33% that are aware of but have never investigated solutions.


The picture above shows that a significant amount of users are not clear about what benefits cloud CAD and PLM software can bring. This is an alarming sign.

What is my conclusion? Both surveys shows some level of compatible results. Cloud is in the focus of interest from both CAD and PLM vendors these days. For the last few years, engineering software vendors moved from ignoring and being skeptical about cloud solutions to “cloud everywhere” paradigm. And while every single CAD and PLM vendor claims some sort of cloud-availability today, benefits and value proposition seems not to be obvious for end users. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


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