PLM companies turned digital overnight. Visit every website of PLM vendors, consulting, resellers and you will find that they are all gone “digital” now. Digital is a magic word nowadays. Everyone wants to go digital. The first step is truly understanding what that means. For many companies, it is about technology. For some others is the way to engage with customers and partners. While there is nothing wrong with both these approaches, the most interesting perspective is about changes in their fundamental business models. Even when everyone is pushing towards digital, it is important to pause and try to understand what it means.
In my view, there are 3 ways for digital business transformation – developing new digital businesses, creating new value in the existing business, and building foundational digital capabilities. When it comes to PLM and related engineering software disciplines it translates to the optimization of existing software, new business models, but also rethinking fundamental business paradigms.
For the last few years, I’ve been sharing my thoughts about how new technologies and business practices can change the paradigm of PLM business. PLM started as an approach, business practices, technology, and products to help engineers and manufacturing companies to solve communication problems, streamline processes, improve quality, and build innovative products.
The most prominent characteristic and value proposition of PLM is the so-called “single source of truth” is a fundamental way to think and sell PLM. It didn’t change for the last 2-3 decades. But the reality is that the modern digital connected environment is breaking the boundary of this single source of truth. What was a single source of truth for the company is now distributed? How to deal with this and what is the solution (or new paradigm) for future digital PLM.
I had a privilege to share what I think about changing PLM paradigms and switching to a digital world earlier this week in my webinar hosted by Domain Systems. If you want to take one word from my presentation, think NETWORKS. Because, in my view, networks create the biggest shift in PLM we can see coming in the next 5-10 years.
Here is a slide deck of my presentation.
And this is a video.
What is my conclusion?
The network is more powerful than a single node. The network is capable of creating new value and we have seen it happen many times in different industries in the past 10-20 years. Networks created new businesses much faster and disrupted existing ones. SaaS technologies and Networks will change the existing paradigm of PLM and will build a new Network PLM paradigm. That would be the Future Digital PLM as I see it. Just my thoughts…
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing a digital network platform that manages product data and connects manufacturers and their supply chain networks.