Stan Przybylinski, VP at CIMdata and renowned PLM expert, recently published an extensive study on the state of cloud PLM and cloud adoption. The research report is chock-full of great insights into how people perceive the cloud, what PLM systems they've been using, and what their biggest business challenges are. You can listen to Mr. Przybylinski share some of his initial findings on this webinar we did with him regarding cloud adoption, millennials, and the future of PLM.
There are lots of interesting tidbits, but personally I thought the two most interesting findings from this research focused on 1) what are the key benefits you expect from adopting cloud PLM, and 2) what are your top concerns with cloud adoption?
Expected Benefits of Cloud PLM
In terms of top benefits, there are no real surprises. Survey respondents wanted a cloud PLM solution that was easier, more scalable and fast. These are in direct contrast to traditional on-premise PLM solutions, where companies have to meticulously plan out any updates, they're stuck with the licenses they've bought, and time to value is still something they wonder about.
We hear these themes in our conversations with customers and prospects. With Propel, for example, you don't need an army of consultants or IT gurus to write custom extensions. Our cloud PLM system is easy to configure and model any business process. For scalability, we've had customers starting out small and then adding 20x more licenses as their business boomed - of course, all attributable to Propel :) And when it comes to speed, any cloud PLM system will run circles around traditional on-premise PLM. Propel typically takes a few weeks, although we did have a customer go live in just 17 hours!
Top Challenges with Cloud PLM
CIMdata's research shows that integration as the biggest concern with cloud PLM adoption. That's pretty interesting, especially as people always seem to be talking about security and the cloud. I think CIMdata's research highlights the complexity of existing PLM implementations, where there can be lots of custom integrations. While Propel offers really open and robust APIs and multiple ways to integrate to any system, overcoming organizational resistance is probably cloud PLM's biggest challenge when it comes to integration.
Similarly, in some of my conversations, cloud security seems to be more of an emotional concern than a technical issue. I've talked to people who were highly skeptical about keeping their IP secure in the cloud, but then have no issue with outsourcing design and manufacturing to remote parts of the world with lightweight IP laws. Plus Propel is built on the Salesforce platform, which offers really robust physical, network and application security.
In the last five years, we've seen a significant shift in how people think about the cloud. You can see some of Propel's latest research here, which shows more and more people adopting the cloud. I'm looking forward to future research from CIMdata, but my bet is that cloud adoption and PLM will get close to 100% in the next few years.