Nobody is not surprised how important information nowadays. Actually, maybe it is not true. What we usually do was called "data management" – CAD,Engineering Document / Data Management, Product Data Management, Product Lifecycle Management. Data played an important role in this process of "management". However, the biggest confusion was created by the CAD/PLM industry was about losing the point of information importance.
Information in Google Age
I think, we learned lesson or two during the last ten years of Google Age. The ultimate focus of Google was about how to create an information consumption culture. It doesn’t matter where information resides, but it does matter and very important how effectively we can get an access to the information and consume it.
Information and the business impact
The business systems eco system is different. People didn’t pay much attention to the importance of information culture and information awareness. Recently, I can see an increased awareness about the role of information companies. I was reading Forester blog couple of days ago – Focus Your Information Strategy On Business Impact by Gene Leganza. Have a read and make your opinion. However, I found the follow quote very important in the context of what PLM companies are doing these days:
Getting the right information to the right people at the right time.There’s little more frustrating than knowing that somewhere, inaccessible to you, your firm has collected the data that can inform the decision you’re trying to make. Does the loyalty of the customer on the phone warrant waiving your standard policy on returns? Is there a pattern to the process errors you’re experiencing in part of your operation? Is there conflicting information in the forms you’ve collected to comply with regulations before launching an expensive initiative? A well-defined information architecture tells you where that information is, and a well-executed information strategy provides the tools to access it to the staff that needs them, when it needs them.
Companies in PLM eco-systems are focusing more on the information. It is not "a database can do everything" story anymore. There are many examples – Dassault acquired Exalead, TeamCenter released Active Workspace, Autodesk acquired Inforbix technologies. I’m sure we are going to see more examples in the future.
What is my conclusion? Long time we’ve been focusing on data – how to produce it, how to control it, how to change it. However, we missed to importance of how to consume data. To me it means the creation of "information awareness". It is an important shift. I think vendors and customers will need to pay attention to that. Just my thoughts…
Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net