Why are companies adopting the cloud for product innovation and engineering? How do they prioritize cloud adoption against the software functionality they need to drive product innovation? This episode of Tech-Clarity TV highlights Tech-Clarity’s Jim Brown and Siemens’ EVP of Global Sales & Customer Success, Bob Jones, discussing the motivation to transition to cloud software and how companies think about cloud adoption.
Cloud adoption is significantly accelerating in the product innovation and engineering market. What does that look like to industrial companies? I’m here at Siemens today to get some clarity.
Hi, this is Jim Brown, President of Tech-Clarity, where we make the business value of technology clear. Today, I’m at Siemens. I’m joined by Bob Jones, thank you, Executive Vice President. We are going to talk a little bit about the acceleration of Cloud and the customer view on moving to Cloud for product innovation and engineering software.
First, let’s talk about why this is happening, and what your customers are seeing. In our research, we see a lot about different reasons companies are moving to the Cloud, and some of the traditional benefits that, lower risk, lower cost, lower the barriers to adoption and that kind of thing. But we also are seeing some really unique elements of the Cloud that are really unachievable with traditional implementations, and some really transformational things companies are doing with their business. What are your customers asking for, if they ask you for the Cloud? Are they asking for transformation? Are they asking for, “Hey, we just want to save a little bit of money on infrastructure?” What do you see?
First of all, I would say Cloud is definitely part of the conversation with virtually all of our customers, from an enterprise level down to the SMB customer. But, as you pointed out, it’s a variety of reasons. Some of our customers that have been with us for a while are going through a refresh of their IT infrastructure, and they’re looking at, is Cloud a way to drive some type of cost efficiency, or overall productivity improvement for them? That’s a common theme we’re talking to a lot of our existing customers.
Other customers are talking to us about Cloud, either from just pure productivity and efficiency, but also to possibly use Cloud to solve some of their business challenges they may have, such as they’ve added or acquired a company with facilities in different locations. And then that gives them a bigger burden or challenge on how are they’re going to connect those and drive the collaboration they need. And Cloud is a way to help them achieve that.
Other good examples are to improve or increase how fast they can implement the technology they need to solve their particular business issues. They see Cloud as a way to accelerate that overall time to value for them, as well as reduce the risks that they have to take on themselves. So, it’s a variety of reasons we’re seeing where customers want to work with the Cloud.
The last thing I would comment is, especially when you think about the enterprise customers, they can’t just flip to the Cloud. So, what we see a lot is, they may have a new business initiative that they want to extend the leverage of our technology to solve. And so now we get into this hybrid situation. They’ve an existing on-premise infrastructure that’s driving a lot of their business, and they have a new initiative that they want to deploy, and they look to us to help them deploy that in the Cloud while it still has connectivity to their on-premise infrastructure.
And that, I think, is paramount to the enterprise customers. Firstly, they can’t make that move overnight. It’s going to be a migration. And that’s why it’s critical for us to support what we call a hybrid Cloud strategy, and allow our customers to leverage their existing on-premise, and extend the value they’re getting from that technology through Cloud deployments of further extension of our technology, our footprint.
One of the things that I always love, we’ve done this in a couple of surveys, is to understand what companies are looking for primarily when they’re looking for new product innovation and engineering software. Are they looking for Cloud software to support product innovation and engineering, which would be a Cloud-first kind of approach? Or are they looking for product innovation and engineering software that meets their needs, that solves their problems, and then looking secondarily towards Cloud adoption? What’s that first filter?
I think it’s probably different in some areas, but what we’ve seen consistently in product innovation and engineering is that it really is about making sure that they have the right capabilities, the right functionality to support their business first, and then looking secondarily at, “okay, what’s the best deployment option for that?” I think that makes a lot of sense, given how important product innovation engineering, and even through operations, is to the lifeblood of a company. What do you see as the priority for the companies that you talk to?
Well, first, I’d say it’s very consistent with the experience that I’m having, and my team across the globe is having with customers. We may see, sometimes, where an engagement has a requirement that you support the Cloud in order to be considered as a possible supplier to them. But I would not say it’s a Cloud first. It’s more what you were alluding to. Our customers have a particular business problem, whether it’s they need to improve the overall design process, or their collaboration process, or they need to have better connectivity from engineering to manufacturing. They’re first and foremost focused on, can we help them solve those business problems that require a certain set of capabilities within our technology? And then, through the evolution of that dialogue, we get into, okay, what is the right method to deploy this technology?
And that’s where the Cloud discussion typically comes in, is what makes the most sense from a reliability standpoint, from a cost standpoint, agility? Should they leverage existing infrastructure they have on-premise? Or should they leverage a Cloud deployment? But rarely do I see this Cloud-first comment where it’s got to be all about the Cloud. It’s more, what’s the problem we need to solve? And really, how does help them solve that problem? And again, that is something that I think is critical for anybody in our space to understand, because I think it’s unfair for technology companies, it’s unfair to their customers to say, “You must deploy in the Cloud.” You’re almost holding the customer hostage. Our strategy is what we call “your way your pace,” because we understand that. And it’s not just the top tier of Fortune 100 companies, even mid-tier companies have existing technology deployments that are most likely on-premise. They can’t throw all that away. They’ve got to have this flexibility. How do I solve this problem? And does Cloud help me solve this problem more efficiently, in a lower-cost way? Or does Cloud help me solve this problem in a much higher reliable way?
Well, thank you very much, I really appreciate it. And I’d like to thank you for joining us as well. And you can certainly learn more. We’ve got a series of these videos as well as guest blog posts on the Siemens site that you can read. And also, please read more from our research and from Siemens. Thanks very much.
Thank you, Jim.