Tuesday, March 27, 2012

PLM and Big Data: the Wave is Coming!

This morning, after getting myself together and reading some email, I happened upon this article from The IBM Smarter Computing Blog. One of the impressive facts in this blog was: "IDC predicts that the digital universe will grow to 2.7 zettabytes in 2012, up 48% from 2011. And by 2015, we may be looking at 8 zettabytes of data. Zettabytes are huge, equaling one sextillion bytes, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes."

It was an interesting article! I was impressed by the amount of information that is generated every day. Now, I knew there was a lot of information out there (and, I am adding to it with this blog), but I really had no idea how fast it was multiplying. I even learned a few new words, zettabyte, and yottabyte. It seems like we completely skipped exabytes and petabytes, but, no matter. I remember thinking a Gigabyte was large: wimpy!

Then, I read an article on the Inforbix blog (@olegshilovitsky) about virtual data organization. The big data issues for PLM businesses and PLM vendors in the future are, well, BIG. Imagine, right now there are employees and customers out there creating information about your products: blogs, Facebook posts, Linkedin posts, Youtube videos, many tweets, and more. These posts are happening on internal and external sites at your company. How can you get a handle on all that information, and use it as a competitive weapon? These are the questions that we need to ask.

This week at the CIMdata 2012 PLM Market & Industry Forum (#PLM4um) we will review the PLM market numbers from 2011, and talk about new technologies that will be impacting PLM in the future. Big data is one of those new areas for PLM. Imagine the PLM vendor who is able to create solutions that don't just manage, but track, gather, analyze, and provide insight to all this information. Whoever can do this will have a solution that customers will want to buy.

We are starting to see many people work on these issues, but the future is wide open for anyone with the guts and creativity to grab it!

What do you think?


  1. Jim, thanks for mentioning Inforbix name. Big data is an absolutely important trend, since we are getting swamped into the data. Actually, we found "product data" to be very interesting element of future big data development. You might be interested to read this blog too - http://www.inforbix.com/friday-data-stories-two-kinds-of-big-data-where-is-product-data-going/. Best, Oleg

  2. Oleg,

    Thanks for the comment!

    Yes, I think Inforbix and a few others are at the forefront of what I consider to be a very important PLM challenge. Those companies and PLM vendors that can figure out how to make sense out of all this information, and make it easily accessible to users, should prosper in the coming days.

    - Jim

  3. Big Data Development teams can quickly build big data applications without the headache and time commitment of custom data infrastructure development and maintenance.