Seeing Past the Clouds: PLM and What's Next
Desktop Engineering (02/12) Vol. 17, No. 6, P. 26; Marks, Eric
Companies are cautiously turning to product lifecycle management (PLM) on the cloud as they begin to implement newer technology and more mature IT computing environments. "Cloud computing accelerates innovation, improves time-to-market successes and offers added flexibility within PLM applications," says PricewaterhouseCoopers' principal technology leader Tom DeGarmo. "Overall, it can improve connections across a company's network of suppliers, time zones and cultures." Cloud strategies being deployed in PLM applications include public clouds, which usually are shared by multiple people who use the system and have no control over who their fellow users can be; private clouds, which infer systems available for the exclusive advantage of one company or entity, where cloud data is secure and protected; community clouds, involving system participation solely by specially chosen companies with shared or related goals, such as partners, channels, or a supply/design chain; and hybrid clouds, where a private cloud can extend onto a public cloud for specific operations, when necessary. The three segments of cloud-based technology include software as a service, platform as a service, and infrastructure as a service. Most industry analysts covering IT concur that the power and potential of cloud computing, when properly exploited and implemented, can significantly affect the PLM sector.