Data management is one of the most important elements of any business. The means of organizing, storing and efficiently transferring data is a critical decision that can make or break a business.
You have to keep various factors in mind—security, cost, ease of collaboration, user access and minimal business disruption—before deciding on the best way to handle data in your business. This is where a robust PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) software will play a key role. PLM doesn’t just help you manage the journey of product development; it helps you track and store all information about your value chain.
While managing product lifecycles may not be a new concept, the digitization of PLM has enabled businesses to grow at warp speed. In fact, a cloud-based PLM empowers you with 3X faster data recovery speed. It reduces downtime by 80% and, can lower your company’s IT costs by 37%, as per data from Transition Technologies PSC. When deciding whether or not to switch to Cloud PLM, remember that the impact of this decision will affect your company for years to come.
To help you make the right decision, here are some important benefits of moving to Cloud PLM.
Why should your company choose Cloud PLM over others?
1. NO added infrastructure costs
To use Cloud PLM, you only need a web browser and Internet connection. You don’t need to pay a monthly server rental fee or purchase additional hardware, and you obviously don’t need any extra real estate for housing them. You don’t need to hire dedicated IT staff to update and monitor your server or the software itself. This means the enterprise hardware cost associated with Cloud PLM is almost none. Since your PLM is hosted in the cloud, you only pay for what you use so your investment is always cost-effective.
2. Quick implementation time
Since you don’t need to spend weeks or months building out the entire software infrastructure, Cloud PLM can be implemented much faster. All you have to do is pay for the licenses, install and configure the software with the help of your PLM vendors’ support team, and you’re ready to go. Your system can be up and running in as little as a couple of days! This ensures the least disruption to your business processes and the smallest amount of downtime.
3. Ease to scale
For many of us, work fluctuates based on the number of projects, size of projects and the number of users working on them. Cloud PLM gives you the ability to buy more licenses when you need them and cancel the excess when you don’t. You can add users or even upgrade storage limits as and when required with almost no waiting period. This pay-on-demand model can save you from having to invest in software, hardware and personnel that will lie dormant once a big project is over.
4. Remote access from anywhere
Unlike on-premise PLM, which is accessible from within a network of physical machines, Cloud PLM can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Just like other SaaS products, you login and access projects whether you’re working from an office, factory, your home, or on a workcation.
With just an Internet connection, teams can work on the same platform from different geographical locations and time zones. This means greater flexibility and collaboration for your employees. This is typically not possible with an on-premise PLM where staff can only access the database when they are physically present in the office or rely on VPNs that can be incredibly slow and unreliable.
5. Protection of intellectual property
With Cloud PLM, you can set up role-based access control to your files, information and processes. Create customized group policies so that only certain people can see certain projects. For example, contractors or other external users will have access only to the parts of your project that they need to perform their job.
You can also protect your intellectual property rights with other measures such as multi-factor authentication, data encryption, regular cybersecurity check-ups, and ensure a secure environment for your company’s data.
6. Minimal maintenance cost
With cloud PLM, the burden of managing your data is lifted off your shoulders. You don’t have to invest in VPNs, firewalls, physical security measures, and an army of internal IT teams to protect your data security—because your PLM provider does that for you.
This means you end up paying less for state-of-the-art services without compromising on quality. Your company can use that money in other areas like marketing and R&D. Cloud PLM lets you invest in innovation, rather than infrastructure.
7. Better collaboration
Companies using cloud-based applications for work find it much easier to adapt to changing times. Gone are the days of needing in-person meetings for everything. Cloud PLM enables people to collaborate and communicate faster, more accurately, and all in real-time thanks to a centralized database.
For instance, a designer from your company in the US can work on the same product design as a designer in Japan and both will be able to make changes and communicate with each other. Even with different time zones, your employees from around the world can work on the same product design, not worrying about the lack of accountability for making design changes or miscommunication. Cloud PLM eliminates issues like multiple versions of the same design and only shows the latest design version to anyone who has permission.
8. Easy, instant updates
Updating Cloud PLM is fast, easy and painless. Updates are done automatically and are included in your monthly payment. It lowers the cost and time associated with updates by shifting the burden of bug fixes, IT support and downtime to the third-party vendor.
Unlike on-premise software, you don’t have to incur any infrastructure-related costs and your team can enjoy working on the latest version of the platform as soon as it’s released.
9. Insights and business intelligence
You can gain data-driven insights into your business by using the in-built business intelligence tools—visual dashboards, reports and other analytical tools—that come with a Cloud PLM. This will give you a clear picture of your business’s health.
You can make data-driven decisions about everything from inventory, finance and production to design selection. The intuitive user interface allows you to quickly find your way around; you can analyze past trends and key performance metrics, check the status of products in development, and even share your data with people in real-time. In short, you can use your own data to get ahead of issues before they become a problem quickly.
If you’re here, you probably already know that PLM is a core component of every successful business in every industry. The system is said to have been introduced and adopted first by American Motors Corporation to speed up the product development process of their Jeep Grand Cherokee in 1985.
From then to today, PLMs have changed a lot, but the core purpose stays the same. A good PLM streamlines product development, prototyping, sourcing, production, and distribution with a data-driven, holistic approach.
Now, Cloud PLM helps companies get to market faster, improve product quality, reduce costs, minimize waste and become more sustainable. Cloud technology has made PLM more affordable, making it possible for smaller brands to take advantage of benefits that only big corporations have historically had access to.
All in all, if you’re thinking about implementing PLM software—Cloud PLM will serve you better than any other solution on the market.