Last year I was writing about PLM and PaaS dilemma. As we move more into diversity of cloud PLM options, the question about PLM platforms and PaaS is getting more interesting. PLM vendors are full speed in the process of understanding what cloud strategy to following – more traditional hosting, IaaS, private & public cloud, multi-tenant public cloud. More about that in my article here.
Back in time to traditional on premise software, PLM vendors liked to present PLM as a platform for variety of solutions that relies on PLM data backbone. It assumes availability of tools and APIs to support product flexibility and adjustment to customer needs. The question if cloud PLM world will look the same and cloud PLM vendors will come with PaaS options?
Interesting enough, pure PaaS world looks not very bright according to some analytical reviews. I was reading Inforworld article – Is the PaaS market as we know it dying? The main point of the article is a squeeze SaaS and IaaS companies are putting on PaaS market. Here is my favorite passage:
"Is PaaS becoming just a feature of IaaS?" codified a growing theory within the cloud computing industry that the PaaS market — which provides a cloud-based application development environment — will be consolidated into the two other major cloud models, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).
Already IaaS and SaaS vendors have rolled out PaaS-like features for customers to build applications on their services. Leading SaaS company Salesforce.com, for example, has Force.com for users to build custom applications based on data already in the company’s cloud. IaaS providers like VMware, CenturyLink and Verizon have adopted PaaS technologies so customer can build applications and then host them in their IaaS cloud.
It made me think about PLM PaaS opportunity. Clearly, none of PLM vendors is interested to become locked in one of existing PaaS platforms. At the same time, without development capabilities cloud PLM won’t be a viable solution for many companies and, especially, for larger PLM deployments from the cloud. Potential solution – to develop PaaS features as part of their cloud PLM strategies.
What is my conclusion? In order to move in the world of mature PLM implementation with cloud offerings, PLM vendors will have to understand how to deliver PaaS features to support configuration, customization and other system tailoring. It is also important to allow service and implementation vendors to sell services. I can see large PLM companies will be trying to adapt existing development platform features in the cloud or develop or buy cloud development platforms. Just my thoughts…