Enabling PLM: The CIO’s Guide to Supporting a PLM Initiative


Insight: Enabling Product Lifecycle Management: The CIO’s Guide to Supporting a PLM Initiative– Provides PLM technology insight and understanding to prepare today’s CIO to support Product Lifecycle Management. Points out unique implementation and support challenges the CIO and their team must be aware of in order to get the most business value out of PLM. Please enjoy the free Executive Summary below, or click the report title above to download the full PDF (free of charge, no registration required).

Table of Contents

  • Introducing the Issue
  • Sharing Highly Sensitive Data
  • Managing Large Data
  • Broad Scale Adoption, Collaboration, and Integration
  • Reducing Risk, Implementation Leadtimes, and Cost
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • About the Author

Executive Overview

Manufacturers today are adopting and expanding the use of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) processes and software. Particularly valuable during difficult economic times, PLM offers a relatively unique opportunity to simultaneously increase top line revenue while controlling product development and product costs to improve margins. PLM accomplishes this by helping companies improve product innovation, product development, and engineering performance and drive higher levels of product profitability. Today’s CIO needs to be prepared for some unique implementation and support challenges to ensure that the enterprise can fully capture the strategic benefits available from PLM.

While PLM originally started with Computer Aided Design (CAD) and other engineering tools, broader use quickly led to a need to manage an even larger volume of CAD files. Product Data Management (PDM) solutions were developed to meet this need, and then extended to address a broader array of product data and collaboration. Today, PLM use is maturing and broadening to the point that PLM has become a full-fledged component of the manufacturing enterprise IT systems ecosystem. Now, CIOs must be prepared to address PLM infrastructure requirements on an enterprise scale as the applications shift from an assortment of engineering tools to an integrated suite of enterprise class systems.

While some manufacturers may have relied on Engineering IT for the architecture and technical environment for engineering tools such as CAD or Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), CIOs are getting more involved due to enterprise-class support issues and integration of PLM with other enterprise-level systems such as ERP. CIO’s organizations have experience implementing, supporting, tuning, and maintaining enterprise level systems. These lessons are critical to successful PLM implementations and the expansion of the manufacturing systems ecosystem. However, the nature of PLM brings other considerations into play that the CIO and their team must be aware of to ensure that the full value of PLM can be achieved. This paper is intended to share special considerations, practical experience, and best practices in supporting the PLM initiative.