Are You Texting in the Corner of Your Kitchen?

The other night in our recently purchased home, I was explaining to my daughter why there was a connection for a phone line in the corner of the kitchen. Her response was, “Why put a phone on a wall?” I attempted to explain to her what it was like living in a pre-wireless society, which was probably lost on her. I’m sure she was trying to picture what it would be like texting in the corner of the kitchen. 

Today, customers demand complex products that are simple to use, personalize, and upgrade. I thought back to and reread a blog entitled “Future of PLM Beyond Complex Answers from Nostalgic PDM Experts” by Oleg Shilovtsky, where he makes the point that PLM providers should embrace sophistication and simplicity. I wholeheartedly agree with Oleg that the basic premise of PLM has been fundamentally correct. The challenge, however, is combining the simple and sophisticated.

Today’s products are growing in complexity. They often include an integrated view of configuration management across disciplines, such as embedded software, simulations, and anything required to design, build, and service products throughout the lifecycle and across the extended supply chain. This is increasingly becoming a less engineering-centric view as everyone, across the organization, is becoming involved in the operational lifecycle of a product.

Last year, I wrote a blog entitled “Radical Simplification,” which focused on the growing amount of complexity and connectivity demanded by customers as technology and innovation merge to produce an unprecedented wave of new offerings. The acceleration of complex disruptive products and services to the market is the new normal, but complexity within an organization’s IT landscape is often a significant challenge. Companies attempt to keep pace with their customers and the market, yet these overwrought landscapes render them too slow to react.

Compounding this complexity are the hidden costs that implementing or maintaining poor architecture and rigid processes will incur over time—technical debt. The largest culprit is the combination of running outdated versions of software and attempting to customize on top of poorly architected products. This not only leaves organizations with a mounting heap of “leftovers,” but also stuck with legacy processes that don’t allow for the agility to adapt to the market.

Too often, the PLM system ends up being a liability—too complex, too rigid, and too costly, thus holding your company back.

The expectation has already changed. The users and the companies want the same experience my daughter wants with her phone—easy to use sophisticated, personalized, and painlessly upgradable. This is where I see how technology can positively affect culture. My daughter, who was only vaguely aware of the pre-wireless society, downloaded and tailored Aras Innovator on her own and modeled her bicycle for kicks. She didn’t even think to involve her old man, and I can’t blame her. I’m from another time with a different culture. Why would she enlist the help of someone who can struggle to program a TV remote?

This is your future workforce, which makes me think this should’ve been a video because I’ve used way too many characters for her to want to read this.

As always, text me your thoughts.