Deciding on the IT applications roadmap for PLM offers a unique challenge for the Business. There is a myriad of small point solutions that make up a PLM application and with this comes the issue of their “future” compatibility, serviceability and effectiveness.
The challenge is viewed differently at different levels – While an IT strategist will opt for a single platform solution so as to minimize the Total Cost of Ownership, a business process owner prefers applications meeting the business requirements most closely irrespective of their coming from different PLM suites.
Very frequently, market available PLM solutions are evaluated for a more demanding “current” business need and their positioning in the strategic landscape takes a back seat. The issue aggravates on every such instance and later becomes a bottleneck in arriving at a wholesome, effective IT strategy for PLM.
There needs to be a way where IT guys and Business guys can come together and evaluate a PLM product, not only from the current requirement perspective but also with the future compatibility/suitability in focus. An informed decision today can have a high probability of turning into an intelligent decision, in hindsight.
How to enable informed decision taking? Should we be looking for a service offering enabling this?
One such option is Rapid Prototyping where Business, during PLM roadmap definition phase itself, can test their processes across different PLM applications. The service enablement should be in a dedicated and secured environment.
There will be operational challenges to this approach, and also questions on its financial viability for any SI. It will also require a unique sales pitch to get internal buy-in and also customer acceptance.