From PLM to Digital Lifecycle

From PLM to Digital Lifecycle

There are many definitions of PLM. In a different time, companies put emphasis on different letters. It was a time when PLM was all about products. I remember the time when “management of business processes” was in focus. However, my favorite is “L” and it is about lifecycle. Because change is the only constant in our life. Change is the most permanent thing in engineering and manufacturing.

Digital transformation is becoming a strong force to change business relationships these days. How it will impact manufacturing? This is a good question to ask. Earlier, this month I shared my thoughts about how digital transformation will impact the future of product lifecycle. Check my blog here.

I came across CIMdata announcement Digitalization and PLM survey. CIMdata Vice President Stan Przybylinski was kind enough to share with me some materials of CIMdata collaborative research program – Lifecycle Digitalization. I captured a few important slides that I wanted to share with you.


There is nothing more important in business than timing. Because you cannot change it. The following slide is self-explanatory. The next five years will provide a unique opportunity to transform the manufacturing business. It is the timing for software vendors, but also it is a timing for manufacturing companies to change.

Cyber physical production system

My favorite slide about current trends in digital transformation is about cyber-physical production system. I can see it as an end-to-end lifecycle that impact and overall process of design, production, consumption, and services. The key is to allocate and deploy business process with App Store simplicity, which can be enabled only by full digital asset transformation.

The most important element of guidance is the fact digital technology will reshape all aspects of product and service innovation. It will change product development process into more interactive process. However, the biggest change will come from a digital closed loop. The digital technology inside products will provide a real time information about the product usage and will increase an opportunity for companies to be digitally connected with customers.

So, what to expect from the change? How it will change PLM space? From to expect in the 10 years of a lifetime? Here is my take… The transformation will change the data space from siloed “single version of truth” paradigm into connected “networking paradigm“. This new networking paradigm in product lifecycle will introduce a new type of digital data space that will be used by all manufacturing companies in the world.

I look forward to seeing the results of CIMdata research. If you want to contribute to the survey, please use the following link.

What is my conclusion? The timing is right now to change your company product development and manufacturing habits. For many manufacturing companies, it will be one time opportunity to move from existing analog business practices into the new digital world. New digital processes will outperform existing businesses very similar to how Google Waze navigation app in your mobile device can outperform 10 years old GPS system in your car. Manufacturing companies need to innovate to stay afloat and to change in order to stay competitive in a new digital market. New digital cloud technologies will play a key transformative role in this process of digital lifecycle change. Just my thought…

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.


Share This Post