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Concurrent Engineering Blog

Cloud PLM: Overcoming the Hurdles to Adoption

Posted by Adrian Lowe on 14-Dec-2017 16:30:00


With the ability to scale up and down as needed and a faster time to value, it’s no wonder organisations are increasingly moving their PLM to the cloud.

Despite these benefits, there are still some fundamental concerns organisations have when it comes to moving to cloud-based PLM. In this blog, we look at three common hurdles to adoption and consider how manufacturers might overcome them.

Performance concerns

It’s entirely reasonable for the organisations that have used on-premise PLM for some time to have concerns about the performance of cloud-based alternatives.

This lack of confidence in cloud PLM usually stems from worries about how quickly information can be accessed and the likelihood of the system becoming unavailable. And these are valid concerns, which is why accessibility and ease-of-use should be a particular focus when choosing cloud PLM vendors.

When looking at vendors, make sure you shortlist those who promote continuous system operation and at least 99.5% availability.

Security breaches

With major public security breaches regularly hitting the news, it’s no wonder there’s a significant level of paranoia relating to cloud-based PLM.

The location of data and how easy it could be for hackers to access is too big a hurdle for some to leap to the cloud.

In reality, security for web-based data is at least equal to that of on-premise.

Sometimes, it’s much better!

Beyond the industry-recognised certifications and encryption layers used by cloud PLM providers, such platforms will boost security further by making it possible for stakeholders to share data through far more secure channels (i.e. no more emails!).

Losing custom-built features

On-premise PLM solutions are often highly customised to the manufacturer’s precise needs, and new platforms are unlikely to offer the custom features organisations have become accustomed to, nor will they integrate with legacy software.

Despite this, Cloud PLM systems usually offer a host of configurable enterprise integration options that enable them to link up with industry-standard third party systems.

As a result, this may require additional infrastructure changes and a degree of adjustment on behalf of users, but the payoff is significant.

Concerned? It’s natural to have questions

It’s normal to have concerns about moving to cloud PLM. Without them, you could end up choosing an inadequate solution or one that doesn’t offer a decent level of data security.

When considering cloud PLM vendors, make sure you voice every concern you have about moving to the cloud, whether it refers to performance, security or integration with your existing systems.