Gartner Declares the Future of PLM Is in the Cloud

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saas cloud software appliancesLast week, I predicted that manufacturers would dramatically increase their adoption of cloud-based software as the benefits of cloud begin to outweigh any possible concerns. And upon further research, it appears that I am not the first to make this prediction.

In 2011, Gartner released a report describing how heightened economic pressures and increasingly complex products are driving manufacturers to seek more cost effective, collaborative product lifecycle management tools in the cloud. Autodesk recently referenced this report when discussing its move to the cloud PLM space.

From our position as the most established and trusted cloud PLM company (eleven years and counting!) it’s nice to see the industry finally getting excited about the cloud’s potential to bring BOM management software to the next level.

In the original 2011 report, Gartner surveyed manufacturers about their experiences with traditional (on-premise) PLM systems and found there are many places where on-premise systems fall short. Here are some interesting findings mentioned in the Autodesk write up, and the three trends I observed that may explain why the cloud is growing in appeal.

#1: Traditional PLM tools are stressful and expensive.

According to the report:

“The unnatural organizational changes and reengineering of internal processes required to deploy traditional PLM tools cause significant stress and unnecessary spend. While some change may be expected, PLM should accommodate and mirror a company’s best-of-breed processes, not the other way around.

Business partners familiar with core business processes and companies’ in-house experts are strong resources well positioned to make the right organizational adjustments during a move to Enterprise PLM; but only if the Enterprise PLM solution can very easily adapt to their processes and practices.”

#2: Cloud PLM tools help reduce cost and cycle times.

According to the report:

“New licensing models and deployment methods, such as software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud computing, may substantially reduce the cost and effort required to get up and running with Enterprise PLM business applications. In fact, SaaS deployment methods may become the new norm for Enterprise PLM. As the Gartner research featured here recommends, “Manufacturers should be more open to the idea of PLM software delivered as a service than they currently are.”

#3: Increases in product complexity means that more departments within a given organization will require fast and reliable access to PLM tools.

According to the report:

“Recent sudden increases in product and project complexity are causing more departments outside of Engineering, such as Planning, Procurement, and Quality, to seek Enterprise PLM business solutions that are powerful and integrated. Teams within these departments need access to Enterprise PLM that enables fast and accurate information management and collaboration throughout the entire product or project lifecycle. The Enterprise PLM business solution for these departments need not derive from existing engineering-centric PDM systems, but must instead connect with them to facilitate the collaboration and process workflows appropriate over the full lifecycle of the product.”

It seems like the cloud software solutions are finally poised to see wide-scale adoption, and we couldn’t be happier. Do you think this report is right on in its assessment of manufacturers’ needs?

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About the Author

Alyssa Sittig
Alyssa played an instrumental role in the development of the Arena Blog and social media channels from 2011 to 2012. Joining the team with a background in public policy, Alyssa ... Read More 

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