In the Cloud?

There is a lot of chatter amongst PLM pundits about whether a PLM solution should be implemented in the Cloud.  There are reasons to implement in the cloud and there are reasons not to.

To me, cloud discussions are putting the cart before the horse…

There are many decisions that must be made before this one should even be on the table.  A company looking at possible PLM solutions must first determine if a PLM solution is financially feasible for their company.  Most important, does the benefit of a PLM solution exceed the cost of purchasing and implementing the software?  If it does, which PLM vendor should you select?  You could go with a single vendor; you could purchase software and have a 3rd party do the implementation; or you could go with a 3rd party and have them purchase the software on your behalf.

What does your PLM project look like?

I recommend not trying to implement everything right out of the gate.  Narrow the scope into phases that can be completed in less than 6 months.  Long phases can lose the interest of your team and they can fail more easily.  Once you have completed a statement of work for the initial phase and you are ready to install software, then it is time to make a cloud decision.

A few reasons to go with a cloud solution

  • Uptime – These Cloud service providers have uptime guarantees
  • Managed Support – They provide 24x7x365 support
  • Managed Services – They provide a firewall, backups and more
  • Minimized impact on your internal IT people

A few reasons not to implement in the cloud

  • Security – Some companies have trouble trusting their business data in the hands of a third party and having it stored in a multi-tenant environment.
  • Privacy – When you hand over your private customer data to a third party, you open up a whole series of legal questions surrounding your legal privacy obligations.
  • Connectivity – Is your internet connection reliable?

My advice is to choose the solution that best fits the needs of your company.  In the end, your selection may end up being a political decision…

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