How cloud can increase PLM flexibility

Despite hot weather and summer vacation time, I can see quite many cloud discussions trending around. I was following OSCON conference few weeks ago. The blog that caught my attention in the context of the conference, and cloud was CloudAve. If you have an interest in cloud software related business, you can have a read of the following article -Hardware, cloud and cloud washing. I noticed an interesting passage:

Having said that I am against bundling hardware with software layer and call it a cloud for the same reason I articulated in the previous paragraph. If cloud is about abstracting away all the hardware complexities underneath, I shouldn’t be forced to buy a specific hardware to run the cloud software. Well, you can always make a point that these hardware+software solution will help organizations build clouds. Yes, they do but their offerings by itself is not cloud. Period.

The question about hiding hardware complexity made me think about the flexibility of cloud software. Can bundle of software and hardware increase flexibility and why it can be helpful? I found another article Cloud – it’s about flexibility – is trying to answer precisely to this question.

cloud computing is all about taking technology solutions and delivering them in a way that allows organizations to consume them “as a service.” I’m happy with the concept of private cloud, with cloud in a box or any other permutations of “cloudiness” so long as it means that organizations can give their users the ability to enjoy the sort of flexibility that we, as consumers, enjoy with services like Gmail.

Now let’s turn to PLM software. I’d like to disconnect the idea of PLM from the historical basement of PDM and keeping the control of information. I can see many situations in the company when a specific business problem solved without going to the total product development processes coverage – design supplier exchange, engineering services, change processes.

Any of these (and many others) examples can raise a question in front of engineering IT manager – how long it will take to establish a system to manage that. The answer 6 months is the wrong one these days. The right answer is 6 weeks. This is a place where cloud PLM software can be very helpful. As an engineering IT person, I want to spin my process implementation fast without any hardware and software installation. 6 weeks needs to be spent exactly on how to leverage cloud flexibility to get things up and running.

What is my conclusion? Think about traditional IT and Amazon Elastic Cloud. The last one can give you a server up and running in minutes. The best IT still needs days to make it happen. Nowadays, we want things to go fast with the focus on business and not on how to install servers. In many situations, the only tool, you can start using in minutes is Microsoft Excel. This is why Excel is still the most popular PLM software in the world. But cloud can change it. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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