Last year I blogged about Google’s cloud and CAD/PLM readiness. Navigate to the following link to refresh your memories. The trigger for that post was Google’s announcement about personal storage scale up to 16TB. Could you imagine that number? Ask manufacturing companies about size and scale of their storage. Few of them will come even to 10TB of engineering drawing storage. My conclusion last year was that cloud infrastructure will grow. We clearly can see it now.
Google announced Tuesday that it will be integrating Google Drive into Gmail, a move that will make it possible to send files up to a massive 10GB in size over email. A new button in the Gmail compose window will give users the ability to attach a file from their Google Drive account rather than attaching the file itself to the message. Once it’s attached, Gmail will ensure that your recipient has permission to view the file in your Drive account -– or will prompt you to grant that permission –- and then sends the message.
Google’s announcement made me think again about how many companies are sharing data and collaborate. File servers, Emails, Excel and file attachments is the most widely used configuration of so-called “DIY PLM”. Does it work well? I don’t think so. At the same time, for many companies this is the only affordable solution. What is IT alternative to the companies struggling to solve their data management and collaboration problem? The possible solutions are going from SharePoint and homegrown systems to basic PDM packages. None of them are perfect. Many people in the companies are sharing data using Google and Dropbox and avoiding complicated IT infrastructure.
What is my conclusion? I think, vendors need to make a note. The fundamental engineering data management problem is not resolved for many companies. People are still struggling to implement PDM and share engineering documents across the organization. Will these companies move to Google cloud tomorrow? I’m not sure about that. Will “frustrated users” try to use Google to share data between people? Possible. Most of IT infrastructure projects, including SharePoint are not ready to handle this problem yet. Just my thoughts…