Cloud-Based PLM: When Speed Really Matters

By Per Jannok, CSC | LinkedIn Profile

It is well known that high performing applications drive greater business value for your organization.

A business application or system that is slow or cumbersome will be side-stepped with ad-hoc workarounds outside of the system. End-users might even refuse to use the application at all. These end-user workarounds often lead to a loss of control of your business data and/or processes, or − even more problematic − create yet another shadow IT group further distancing your data from being part of a more collaborative and agile organization.

Addressing a diverse application landscape

When applications perform consistently and reliably, end users are more effective at getting their jobs done, increasing productivity and their output. Therefore, in an enterprise context, user productivity is a key measure that influences the output quantity.

This is certainly true especially for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems.

PLM systems can be complex implementations. The system functionality and integrations to other business applications often results in a nested architecture to facilitate the business functions across a global enterprise. I believe that is why we today live in such a diverse enterprise landscape.

We often work with clients that have multiple PLM systems (from supporting current and legacy programs and business processes). Some of these systems may be required to be on-premise due to security or data localization needs while others might be good candidates for transitioning to a cloud-based solution to reduce the cost of ownership.

Moving away from closed, in-house systems

With a cloud-based PLM system you can take a significant step to mitigate a lot of these problems and also lower the total cost of ownership. The value of a cloud based PLM solution has also been reported by CIMdata. It has been mentioned as the next needed step in order to truly raise PLM up to an enterprise level. Fading away are closed or proprietary systems that are hosted in-house and supported by corporate Information Technology (IT) units. CIMdata calls this next level of PLM for Platformization. See article by Peter A. Bilello, President, CIMdata.

By moving your PLM to a cloud-based platform you not only improve your performance by utilizing the flexible infrastructure, where you can rapidly scale up or down to meet your fluctuating engineering needs, you also get faster time to value through Instant ON/OFF and shorter delivery time with quick and flexible deploy solutions. This will foster innovation and shorten your design-to-production cycles. Performance is so much more than just milliseconds on your ping reply.

Key questions for you

And something that is as important as improving the performance of your PLM system is to analyze your business. Do you have a swift, agile organization that can quickly adapt to this new type of platform?

Another important thing is that with a cloud based solution you might be able to deploy specific functions faster, but are your end users trained and ready to utilize these new features, ie. do you really get the business value out of your deployments?

Moving to the cloud also often include some kind of migration. That’s why it’s also important to analyze and verify your data and business processes. One quick win is often to start your cloud journey with a separate project/program or a Proof of Concept study.

What are your thoughts and comments on moving your PLM-system to the cloud?

Do you see certain parts of your PLM still reside on-premise in a more Hybrid Cloud approach?

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