Integration is a big deal during PLM implementation. I cannot recall any PLM implementation that went live without some sort of integration – legacy databases, ERP software, PDM tools, you name it. Integration is always there and demand work and dedication to make it happen. Every PLM service company during implementation project is prepared to step in and deal with variety of difficulties to integrate PLM software with rest of systems and databases.
In my earlier article – PI PLM2018 Integration and Collaboration, I outlined customer examples I captured during the conference presenting examples of integration needs. Read the article and draw your opinion. My simple conclusion – integration story is usually complex and expensive.
I have some bad news for you. Singe word – cloud. SaaS (cloud) applications can make the life of IT much easier by delivering on demand applications, reducing the need for IT and complexity of managing software, installations and configurations. Except one thing – integration. That was the reason CIMdata discovered that integration is top concern for companies to move to the cloud. Check here for more data.
My attention was caught by IDC research How to meet app integration demands across cloud platforms. It speaks about growing backlog of application integration project between legacy applications and various cloud deployments.
While cloud adoption is growing, I can see a concern of manufacturing companies to have technology and products enabling efficient integration between cloud services and on premise and desktop products. Speaking about implementation approach, agile integration and app integration infrastructure is absolutely needed.
My favorite slide I captured from IDC study about growing complexity of decentralization. Take a look.
Software is deployed in different locations and share common assets. REST API and additional integration services used to combine all together with hybrid workflows.
One of the elements of these strategies is introduction cloud products with microservice architecture that can be used to share information and serve as an efficient way to interplay between variety of on desktop, on premise legacy and new cloud tools. Here is an interesting slide from IDC study.
What is does it mean for manufacturing companies? Majority of existing PLM implementations is on premise. Top PLM vendors announced availability of their products for cloud hosting, but these implementations are limited, often provide reduced functionality and not well equipped with modern REST APIs. As manufacturing companies will adopt more cloud services, the pressure on PLM vendors will increase to provide tools and infrastructure to integrate PLM software with other enterprise software moving ahead in cloud adoption compared to legacy PLMs.
What is my conclusion? Manufacturing companies should be aware about cloud trend towards growing adoption of cloud services. CAD and PLM are behind in cloud service adoption. CIOs and Engineering ITs better to be focusing on how to bridge a growing gap between 10-15 years old PLM implementations and growing agile enterprise cloud services. Just my thoughts…
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.