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How Cloud PLM Accelerates IoT’s Need for Speed

In the Internet of Things (IoT) space, pain points vary widely across industries. IoT technology for enabling a smart city has very different dynamics and ramifications than the technology needed to make a smart watch for example. Regulatory hurdles for a government project may take a decade to address, whereas a consumer product could go through mutiple generations of changes in one percent of those timeframes. Adoption rates for IoT also vary widely – with retail, consumer products, and manufacturing leading the way, and financial services, natural resources, and education taking longer to adopt.

One pain point consistent across industries is the need for IoT companies to move fast. Collapse the time to market. In the film “Top Gun,” when Maverick declared to his BFF Goose that he had “a need for speed,” he echoed the sentiments of every IoT company racing to market to beat the competition. And every IoT executive agrees that waiting months for an on-premise design solution to be implemented would evoke the same reflex action Maverick used to greet a competing fighter flying at Mach 1 upside down.

To ensure first-mover advantage in a highly competitive industry, more and more IoT consumer electronics companies rely on a cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) solution to innovate while accelerating time to market.

A critical advantage of cloud PLM systems is that the solutions are maintained by the provider, which means setup is easy and, most importantly, fast. And the flexibility to add and subtract licenses and modules is key to becoming short-listed. That uber-scalability can only be achieved when one has a single instance of software unique only to 100% multi-tenant SaaS cloud PLM — not a hybrid, not a partial SaaS. On-premise PLM, on the other hand, has an expensive and time-intensive integration process, which requires software licenses and a significant upfront infrastructure investment.

“What I see most often with IoT clients is that they want to get up and running quickly with basic functionality,” says Mike Keer, president of Product Realization Group, “It’s part of the lean startup mentality. And as these companies grow in size and complexity, they need a solution in place that has the cababilities to support them as they scale, without the need to switch during a critical business ramp.”

He continued, “companies don’t want to be burdened with the installation, setup, and maintenance of on-premise computer networks anymore. Arena’s cloud-based architecture allows users to log in from anywhere, and has security built in. These capabilities make it much easier for lean hardware IoT companies to manage global development and supply chains, without having to invest capital or hire staff that are not focused on core product development and innovation.”

The speed of disruption is so fast in the IoT space, engineering teams must be rock solid in their delivery. Many failed emerging IoT companies are unable to meet aggressive design and delivery schedules because they did not have the proper tools in place to manage design data to meet their original product delivery estimates.

The trifecta of product development tools is a cloud-based PLM solution that’s multi-tenant with all-in-one functionality that includes embedded quality.

Boom! Take that, competitors.

For OEMs, the key to moving fast in the disruptive IoT market is maintaining rigor, discipline and forward-looking strategies. Successful companies keep abreast of tech developments and make well-researched judgment calls about how and when to pull the trigger and adopt new innovations into a product design; however, companies without the vision and tools to respond to change and adopt new technologies quickly could lose the razor’s edge in this competitive high tech market.