Digital Transformation of SMB Manufacturers – the opportunity to cloud-enable existing processes?

Digital Transformation of SMB Manufacturers – the opportunity to cloud-enable existing processes?

Digital Transformation seems to be one of the most popular buzz everywhere these days. You can hear it everywhere in different contexts. My attitude towards “digital transformation” was careful because in many situations I’ve seen it as a slick marketing of existing technologies and processes.

Earlier today, my attention was caught by IDC report – Digital Transformation in Product Design and Development: The Opportunity for SMB Manufacturers ( The research was sponsored by Siemens PLM, so you will need to give away your email to Siemens. So, I did it and got a report. Do it as well and draw your opinion.

Public summary stated the following:

This IDC InfoBrief examines the current and future investment plans of small and medium businesses (SMBs) so that firms can see where an adjustment in their investment plans for product design and development might be appropriate. While small and midsize manufacturing firms have made major strides in improving product design and development, the competitive landscape will become increasingly demanding.

I captured two very interesting slides that I wanted to share with you. The first one is about priorities for SMB manufacturers. As you can see from this picture, pressure to improve performance, pushes SMB manufacturers to find solution that can make immediate difference in current processes.

The second slide is showing prioritization of solutions and technologies capable to give an impact for SMB manufacturers. On the top list of digital transformation accelerators, you can see SaaS and Cloud computing technologies.

What is my conclusion?  SMB manufacturers seem to be a very interesting spot. For very long period of time PLM companies failed to capture SMB opportunity. It was a result of multiple factors – cost , technologies and approach. IDC reports clearly indicates SMB opportunity that can be captured by using cloud technologies, digitally transforming current process with simple and efficient product offering. Who can do? The next few years will be interesting to watch the transformation of small manufacturing shops. Just my thoughts….

Best, Oleg

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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