I want to propose an unusual theme for our PLM discussion. Let’s talk about trends related to manufacturing and software development. Few months ago, I prompted about “Free” as a best future price. If you haven’t chance to see this post, you can find it here. During the past years, we can see significant changes in the market about how people are looking on consuming products and software. It drove me to think about two major trends we can observe these days: FREE and COOL.
I think, Free became much stronger for the past few years. Internet played a massive role to the transition of market to different variants of “Free Models”. The biggest driver, in my view, is that Internet made a lot of things available for much lower cost. It is related to the ability to provide services, long tail market, freemium business models. If I’m looking on the software market, Free trend, developed a massive awareness toward “free software”. Google as an absolute leader in providing various types of free software and services created the perception for increased availability of “software for free” and alternative business models for business software.
This is another, opposite to free trend. Market of “cool stuff” is growing and manufacturers of the product and services on this market drive significant attention. People want to use cool gadgets, software and other products. Part of this “cool” trend is increased interest to the market of custom-developed products, etc. It is absolutely clear, that manufacturers of cool stuff (doesn’t matter computer devices, other products or software) are getting increased market share and exposure. What is adjusted to the “cool stuff” is also premium price for all these products. The obvious leader of “cool” trend for me is Apple .
CAD and PLM Market
Now let’s back to CAD/PLM. On one side, everything that related to CAD and 3D is obviously and absolutely COOL! The potential of 3D is huge and software manufacturers drive people to additional exposure of cool 3D stuff. When it comes to the combination with cool devices (such as Apple computers) we can see a magnification of “coolness effect”. On the other side, market of enterprise software impacted by a significant influence of free business models. “Open Source”, not efficiency of today’s software production, deployment and maintenance, high cost of custom implementations and adjustments. Enterprises are looking for alternatives to today’s business models and Free drives their attention. Enterprise PLM is definitely impacted from this trend.
So, what do think? What will be leading trend for tomorrow’s CAD/PLM? Cool or Free? If you are listening to the company like Dassault Systems, cool is a clear leader. On the other side, Aras, providing free license (or open source) drives increased attention from customers and analysts in PLM domain. What will be the final combination of cool and free? I think we are going to discover it during the next few years and this is going to be COOL and FREE show …
Just my thoughts. What is your opinion? Are you on the FREE or COOL side of the world?