The amount of publications about PLM and cloud is growing. This is not surprising me. There are two reasons to that. Cloud is clearly hyping. Second – major player such as Autodesk is making their move towards the cloud. Carl Bass, Autodesk CEO announced that today’s technologies allow to Autodesk to come with a reliable and affordable PLM system. Almost at the same time, during DSCC 2011, Bernard Charles is announcing that DS invested about $2B in the development of the most sophisticated online cloud platform in the word (he was talking about Enovia platform).
I was reading ECN article Seeing Past the Clouds – PLM and what’s What? by Eric Marks. The article is speaking about trends in the cloud PLM and four possible strategies: public, private, community and hybrid. I can clearly understand the difference between public and private (read one of my previous posts – PLM Cloud: dedicated, private, public). However, the concept of community cloud is a bit complicated, since it is point on how cloud services will be used, rather on if it goes to public servers and multitenant opposite to private server placement. At the same time, I found the passage about "hybrid cloud" the most interesting. Here it is:
And lastly there are “hybrid clouds” where a private cloud can extend onto a public cloud for specific activities and on an as-need basis. The benefit of a hybrid approach that incorporates a public cloud is that it provides extra performance scalability for the private cloud that would be in use.
I can clearly see how it can make a difference. I’m sure you’re familiar with Basic Instinct movie. Let me make an association with IT. The basic IT instincts are control and cost. As I’ve been told by IT people in one of the manufacturing companies in Mid West – if the cloud is be more cost-effective for effective for us, we will be moving towards the cloud. Otherwise we stay in our racks. Hybrid model allows to keep IT on premise and extend to cloud in order to have a cost effective expansion and scale. It sounds like something that can keep everybody happy and, at the same time, it is clearly Trojan horse that cloud providers will put in organizations. As soon as such solutions will be running in production, rest of the game for cloud providers will be to leverage the economy of scale and not to blow up "security" red-herring.
Another passage from ECN article practically confirms that.
According to Edward Quinn, Mevion Medical Systems IT Manager, “to do this, Mevion is leveraging a “hybrid cloud” in order to be able to scale quickly and efficiently to distributed cloud data centers at far less cost than purchasing expensive equipment or renting/building out corporate data centers. The IT department can leverage the advanced international infrastructure already in place by leading cloud computing companies and activate and pay only for the services that its business needs.”
What is my conclusion? There are many reasons why companies can decide to move towards the cloud – better collaboration, ease of install, mobile, and many others. However, the cloud fundamental is about how to drive costs down using the economy of scale. PLM won’t be an exclusion from this game. In order to move towards that, vendors need to pass "IT police" in every organization. Hybrid cloud looks like a good weapon leveraging IT basic instincts. Just my thoughts….