This eBook takes a look at the cloud opportunity for PLM from the vendor perspective. It highlights the fact that although customers are rewarded with lower complexity and risk by moving to the cloud, vendors often face higher complexity and risk. It reviews the options ISVs have to move existing solutions to the cloud and points out business, operational, and technical issues to consider.
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The Cloud Opportunity for PLM
Cloud solutions offer companies a range of compelling benefits including lower cost, scalability, ease of implementation, and reduced need for IT resources. Most companies are taking advantage of some cloud applications at this point, and it’s becoming a de facto architecture for some. That makes it an important option for independent software vendors (ISVs) to offer.
Cloud adoption in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) has been slower, at least partially due to limited demand from conservative customers. But initial concerns have given way to rational requirements and audits. This is creating a growing competitive need in PLM, and even the largest, traditional vendors are making strides.
Overall, cloud solutions offer lower implementation and cost risk for customers. But that same can’t be said for software vendors who find themselves facing a significant architectural transition. Many PLM vendors are already rearchitecting toward a “platform” approach, making it a natural time to shift architectures. The technical considerations can be significant, but it’s not just a technical journey. There are implications to processes and organization as well. This eBook isn’t intended to provide all of the answers, just to make sure you’re asking the right questions.
Conclusion and Recommendations
For PLM, the move to the cloud has begun. Whether a vendor is moving all of their applications to the cloud, some of them, or offering a hybrid solution, it’s an evolution that requires a lot of decisions. After all, shifts in computing infrastructure and paradigms have historically resulted in major disruption for vendors, leading to major shifts in the competitive landscape as new players emerge and older players fade into the sunset.
PLM vendors can, and are, making the transition to the cloud. They key considerations in this eBook are a guide to help identify the implications of the change. PLM vendors considering shifting to the cloud should:
- Recognize that the cloud opportunity for customers is compelling
- Understand the impacts on them as an ISV
- Develop a strategy – even if it’s not to move solutions to the cloud
- Create a business plan to support the strategy and educate customers and investors about it
- Understand and address likely operational impacts, considering a DevOps approach
- Recognize and address technical issues
- Look for an architecture that provides cloud benefits to customers as well as the ISV (scalability, lower total cost of ownership) and room to grow over time
- Don’t underestimate the role of the database. Look for a DBMS aligned to your business needs and don’t force your business or application to radically change to fit the choice