Is the Forecast for PLM “Cloud-y”?

Recently, CIMdata released a report titled, “Cloud PLM: Understanding Adoption Prospects.”

This study was prompted by the perception that adoption of cloud-based PLM has been slower than for other enterprise applications such CRM or ERP (e.g., – Oracle). While cloud adoption of PLM looks like it is poised for significant growth, the current outlook is that most deployments will still be small – under 50 users.

One caveat to note about the study design, individuals surveyed were provided by Autodesk, Dassault Systems, PTC, Oracle and Siemen, so responses reflect those particular contacts’ point of reference on cloud.

That said, there’s some very interesting data. Here’s our take:

  • Companies are exploring Cloud PLM, its capabilities and possible benefits, but are not ready to replace Legacy investments in PLM just yet. Around 60% of the survey respondents are from companies with over $1B in revenues.  But when asked about implementations of Cloud PLM, the majority are planned for 50 users or less.
  • Not surprisingly, the most anticipated benefit from a cloud-based PLM solution is ease of management. But, economic factors such as reduced capital expenditure, the ability to scale up and down as needed, faster time to value, and lower startup costs, followed very close behind. Most should find these benefits similar to those of other cloud solutions already deployed within their organization. It’s recommended that those who participated in these previous projects, be brought in as subject matter experts to help move along Cloud PLM projects.
  • Interestingly, when you look at the concerns organizations have when planning to adopt Cloud PLM, they are the same as those we hear for Legacy PLM systems—things like Security Risks, Inability to Customize, Lack of Performance, and Data Lock-in. No wonder there’s some hesitancy about trying something new—worrying that the same problems will persist.  Legacy PLM is at fault here. What is needed is a Product Innovation Platform that is open, flexible, scalable, and upgradeable. One that can adapt to an organization’s unique business processes, now and in the future, to improve their ability to create smart, connected products.
  • Organizations in highly regulated industries, or those handling highly sensitive data, should consider a hybrid approach and look to solutions that have the flexibility to operate and move between environments with ease. When it comes to the type of cloud deployment, nearly half of respondents said they preferred a mixed environment—where they can maintain sensitive IP or regulated data on-premise/in private clouds, and use a public cloud for other uses.

The CIMdata report is an interesting take on the industry. Regardless of the scenario, for us, our PLM platform is cloud-ready!  (In fact, it’s the only PLM system certified on MSFT Azure). Aras can be deployed in the data center, public or private cloud, or hybrid configurations. It is also flexible and can be deployed on-site and then be migrated to a hybrid or full cloud model (or vice versa) without losing any solution capabilities or customizations.