While pain points, regulatory hurdles, and adoption rates can vary widely across industries, one challenge that impacts every Internet of Things (IoT) company is the critical need to move fast. 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. This is particularly true when products have complex embedded electronics with a high rate of change.
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. 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 Michael Keer, CEO of Product Realization Group (PRG), a consortium of Silicon Valley experts that helps bring IoT product companies to market.
“It’s part of the lean startup mentality. And as these companies grow and their products become more complex, they need a solution in place that has the capabilities to support them as they scale, without the need to switch during a critical business ramp. Companies don’t want to be burdened with the installation, setup, and maintenance of on-premise computer networks anymore.”
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.
According to Manny Marcano, president and CEO of EMA, a company that offers a design automation solution for Cadence OrCAD, “A lot of these companies are charging fast to grab a piece of the IoT market. And a lot of times they’re starting with a back of the napkin design and a quick prototype to get some VC funding and then they’re off to the races.”
“Companies in the IoT space are actually rolling out PLM at the same time they are building products and taking orders. So, if you have a design solution that can be implemented quickly, without a lot of overhead to get a consumer electronics stamp and FCC approval— that’s a big value to them.”
For OEMs, the key to moving fast in the rapidly changing 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.
Innovation is the holy grail of many product companies as they seek to differentiate their products from those of competitors. Integration of quality processes into the design cycle through collaborative quality tools can give companies the competitive edge they seek. All it takes is a shift in thinking, a willingness to embrace user feedback, and a methodology to drive quality into the product development process.
To learn more how PLM can help your IoT company succeed, click here.