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In the past, larger companies investing in a new PLM instinctively drifted towards the second option when choosing an approach to storing and transporting their precious data. Conventional wisdom boiled down to this: data security is too important to outsource to a third party cloud vendor, no matter how great the benefits. Much better to go for an on-premise implementation, installing the software on user’s machines, allowing you to monitor and manage security as you wish. Smaller companies, on the other hand, rarely have the in-house IT resources, hardware, or budget they would need to manage an on-premise PLM. For these organizations, cloud PLM was a godsend: an affordable way to access top-end tools, managed by external experts that take care of all technical and security concerns, with the added benefit of having the latest, most accurate data available to everyone in the team, all the time, wherever they are.
Today, things are changing. A lot of bigger companies are looking at their smaller rivals and saying, “Wait a minute, these guys seem to have a good thing going!” They’re questioning whether it’s really necessary to sacrifice agility, flexibility, speed, cost, convenience and collaboration for the sake of managing their own security – or whether they’re better placed than a third party to ensure data security at all.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 5 biggest benefits of using a Cloud-based PLM implementation.
When you invest in on-premise PLM, you pay upfront – and typically, the price tag is steep. Cloud alternatives, on the other hand, involve licenses for shorter terms, making the costs manageable from the outset and meaning that you have less investment and more flexibility. What’s more, by hosting your PLM on the cloud you avoid having to splash out on expensive infrastructure, as your vendor handles all that. That means you save money on servers, setup, maintenance and other IT resources.
Since you don’t have to wait around for months to build and install servers and so on, you can hit the ground running with a cloud-based implementation. Once you’ve paid for your licence, your server credentials are made available immediately and you can get to work without delay.
Cloud licenses are flexible and quicker to obtain. That means you can scale their number up and down according to your project demand. If your company is growing quickly, or if you know you’ll have a higher workload for a short period of time, the principle of cloud allows for scalability and pretty much instant access to additional licenses. With cloud, scalability is easier to manage.
If you opt for a cloud PLM, your vendor maintains the system for you and will update your server for you automatically. You don’t need to worry about implementing new releases, whether you’re working with the latest versions or making use of the software’s full functionality. You are.
One of the best things about using a top-of-the-range cloud PLM is the way it draws your whole team and all your stakeholders together, no matter how widely dispersed they are. In-house designers, worldwide vendors, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and sellers can all connect to the same database. You’re always on the same page, using the same data, able to track the progress of projects, and able to collaborate and innovate without delay. These benefits are harder to realise with on-premise implementations, as you need VPN access to tap into cloud servers and data is often locked up safely on site.
Your business is unique. Your requirements are unique. Your security demands may also be unique. It may be that it simply isn’t possible for you to opt for a cloud PLM implementation. That’s totally understandable (in fact, as a PLM vendor ourselves, we support both on-premise and on-cloud, for that very reason). That said, cloud options are absolutely worth exploring, no matter the size of your company or your data security demands. The benefits are simply too great to be ignored – and you may just find that the right vendor is able to meet all your security requirements, saving you a ton of money and time, while opening up your business to greater innovation than ever before.