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NewYear2015As you crawl out of bed for the first time in 2015, I am sure the first question you are asking yourself is, “why does my head hurt so much?” The second question you might ask yourself is, “what’s in store for PLM in 2015?” There are many exciting technologies that will impact PLM this year. 2015 should be an exciting year for any business that embraces the goals of innovation and efficiency.

In this blog post I want to highlight several key technologies that everyone should target in 2015 for a potential place in their business.

The Cloud

The number of companies that are moving to PLM on the cloud has grown in 2014. There are many options for those that want to try cloud technologies for some part of their business. There are also solid cloud-based PLM solutions for those that are thinking of moving a significant part of their PLM functions to the cloud.

One of the main benefits of putting PLM on the cloud is information can be easily shared with those that are working on product design and other product definition activities. There are many benefits to leveraging information among various groups of people during product design. This leads to more ideas from more people and tends to generate more products faster.

There are also benefits from cloud computing that allow greater flexibility in how you pay for PLM software. Becoming a more competitive company through the adoption of cloud technologies is a 2015 goal that anyone can get behind.

There will be more options for PLM on the cloud in 2015. PLM solution providers will continue to provide better options, and there will continue to be pressure from customers who expect more access to more information more of the time. Without the cloud, many companies will have a hard time competing with those that fully embrace cloud technology.

3D Printing

There have been some significant announcements about 3D Printing, not the least of which was the announcement by HP. Many businesses are using 3D printing to create prototypes and other parts that are needed for product development. There are also many advancements in this technology, and the HP announcement could have a significant impact.

The ability to reduce cost, speed time-to-market, create innovative products, and satisfy customers has many businesses looking at how they can use 3D printing. We have seen mergers and market consolidation in the last year, and I think we will continue to see that in 2015. Look for more advancements in processes and technology along with more and better materials; 2015 should be an exciting time for 3D printing.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT continues to capture the imagination of all those who think about robot refrigerators taking over the earth. But, there are real benefits to this technology, both for products and for consumers. For consumers, products that can avoid problems, act more intelligently, and fix themselves will prove to be a great advantage. For the products, providing self diagnosing solutions and allowing service and maintenance to be done more effectively will have great benefits to businesses that offer these solutions.

There is currently not one standard for IoT, and many vendors continue to offer competitive options. I think in 2015 we could see some standards emerging that will make the challenge of connecting our products less difficult. I am looking forward to seeing what can be accomplished in this space.

Companies can look at options for linking their products together in ways that will delight the consumer; also look at the ways products are serviced and supported. With a greater level of intelligence in products, there are many ways a greater level of support can be offered.

Mobile PLM Tools

The ubiquity of mobile tools makes connecting them to PLM a no-brainer. With more and more options for mobile technology being introduced every day, the opportunities to link people together is increasing. The challenges with managing this onslaught of data devices falls squarely on the Information Technology (IT) professionals. How can data be leveraged more efficiently in 2015 than it has been used in the past?

I think we will see more options for data sharing and collective information in 2015. As more and more options emerge for moving tasks onto mobile devices, new ways of interfacing with customers and partners will emerge. Look for more of these tools and applications in 2015.


These are some of the technologies that I will be watching in 2015. All of these can have a big impact on your business, and they are all enhanced and improved with PLM. Choose something new and make it part of your PLM plan for 2015 and you will likely see great results.

What do you think? Did I cover them all? Let me know!

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