CAD, Cloud Folders and Search Apps

Dear Mr. Manufacturing CIO. I have good news for you – engineers in your your organization are already using cloud services. However, let me point on bad news too – people in your organization are using cloud services. Navigate to my previous blog – PLM cloud concerns and Dropbox reality for engineers. You can learn that 34% of engineering department is second biggest group of people saving data in the Dropbox. Which means CAD files and Excel spreadsheets are going to the cloud.

Thinking about expanding of cloud services in engineering and manufacturing departments, you find Folder paradigm as a dominant one dragging people and data to the cloud. You can easy come with a long list of well established companies and many startups – Dropbox, Google, Microsoft, etc. Only very lazy people these days are not developing a service that store your data to the cloud.

However, by making access to cloud folders easy, these vendors created an opportunity for engineers to bypass PDM vendors (again :)) and just use cloud folders exactly in the same way they’ve been using local and network drives to store and share engineering data. Maybe you remember my old blog – A moment before CAD files cloud mess… A year ago, I discussed what will happen if uncontrolled stream of CAD file data will be placed on the cloud. So, it happens now. Mr. CIO has nothing to do with that, in my view. People like to collaborate using Google Drive and Dropbox.

Here is the question – how to organize a mess? I want to get back to search topic again. In my view, search might be a good solution for that. Think about finding a way of organizing data by searching the right content and exposing information in an easy digestible way. I’ve been watching videos about startup Docurated – NY based startup focusing on how to get an easy access to documents by providing search, classification and visualization of documents

What is my conclusion? The idea of organizing data via search is not new. However, the tricky part is to do it in a way which will allow easy and painless way to get access to folders and files. Another aspects – focused application for a specific tasks. People are tired of complicated product suites. Simple apps is valuable alternative. To have small app to get job done is right way is a sweet spot for many startup companies these days. Maybe not only for startups… PLM vendors need to take a note here. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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