There has been considerable discussion of the substantial cloud benefits to enterprise PLM systems, but there is another element of this conversation that is just as important for long-term business transformation success: using a SaaS offering with the cloud to provide the sort of expertise, compliance, and scalability necessary to optimize your full PLM environment.
In today’s PLM universe, there is change in the air. A perfect storm is brewing, and it is forcing PLM businesses and IT stakeholders to re-evaluate their current position and wonder if they are in the right place for future growth.
First, new digital transformation strategies are defined every day, creating an increased demand for work by IT departments. These initiatives are usually complex and require considerable changes to internal business processes and related systems. PLM solutions are being heavily affected since today’s PLM plays a larger role in cross-functional business processes than ever before. By providing a digital backbone, PLM is a critical enabler for digital transformation strategies across organizations.
Second, many (if not most) PLM systems in production today are not up for the challenge. According to CIMdata’s PLM Upgrade Study, one-third of Siemens respondents and 23% of PTC respondents had not upgraded in more than 15 years. Half of Dassault Systèmes respondents had not upgraded in at least 10 years. This means these systems are already running outdated versions of software. With survey participants reporting an average of 11–14 months of elapsed time to upgrade these PLM solutions, there are no short-term fixes. Customers that have made the investment to keep their solution current have to decide if the benefit from each upgrade is worth the effort and if there is a better approach to upgrades long term.
Lastly, traditional PLM solutions have not handled companies’ unique requirements well. Since large organizations require company-specific requirements to be met, customizations have been “creatively” executed in many legacy PLM systems. Many of these customizations have been difficult to maintain, leading to upgrade issues like those described above, and to a considerable amount of technical debt lurking deep inside today’s PLM systems. Countless IT personnel are losing sleep thinking about both the new wave of digital transformation work heading their way and how they will be able to implement it.
PLM with a little SaaS
This situation is pushing PLM system owners to reevaluate their current situation. Are they using the right PLM solution? Is now the time to move to the cloud? And most important, how do we avoid this situation again?
Much has been discussed about the cloud being the future of, well, all future systems, but the value of SaaS offerings is just as important to consider. The increasing complexity of PLM systems with their extended digital threads crossing many applications, the significant increase of global users in new, cross-functional areas, and the need for increased security and performance means a much higher level of support for PLM deployments. Specialized knowledge and experience in PLM software and how to optimize it within its infrastructure is necessary to support the demands of today’s digital transformation efforts.
CIMdata discussed this very topic in their eBook “Leveraging the Cloud for Global Market Success”:
“Based on our research and industrial consulting experience, CIMdata believes that the flexibility and scalability of cloud-delivered SaaS solutions can significantly help companies execute their digital transformation plan. All the factors described herein are driving increased cloud adoption, including for PLM solutions, by companies of all sizes, in all industries.”
The other consideration is the SaaS solution itself. Not all PLM SaaS products are created equal. Many offerings restrict or prevent companies from customizing the solution to meet their specific requirements, while other solutions offer limited functionality compared to their on-site solution. If the solution is not built to be resilient and capable of changing with a company’s future strategies, you will find yourself stuck exactly where you are today.
Aras Enterprise SaaS
Aras created the Enterprise SaaS solution with the commitment to deliver the same level of resiliency in the cloud available with on-site deployment, or any software vendor’s on-site PLM solution. Only Aras Enterprise SaaS provides a fully capable, business-ready SaaS PLM environment with complete Systems Engineering and Digital Thread functionality ready to transform your organization, all available in a single offering. Perhaps the most important capabilities of Aras Enterprise SaaS are its ability to sustainably customize applications, and build new applications connected to the digital thread allowing organizations to sunset their legacy applications. This can only be accomplished with Aras’ resilient platform.
For more information on PLM SaaS adoption and CIMdata’s analysis of Aras Enterprise SaaS, read the latest CIMdata commentary, “Fully Configurable SaaS on the Cloud.”
Also, please join us for a special webinar with Peter Bilello, president and CEO of CIMdata, on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at 11:00 AM ET. The webinar, “Is Fully Configurable SaaS for PLM Possible on the Cloud?” will discuss the benefits of SaaS and how PLM delivered through a SaaS offering can provide the configurability, flexibility, and resilience needed to meet your company’s ever-changing business needs?