Monday, April 15, 2013

RIP: The Death of the PC?

Is the PC dead? How will the next generation of computing look? What impact will this have on PLM? I was thinking about all of these as I read a recent article: So If The PC Is Dying, What Happens With Microsoft Next? I want to change the title to: So If The PC Is Dying, What Happens With PLM Next? What do you think is the answer? I like this quote from the article:

"What PC decline really reflects are changes in the innovation cycle and changes in the workplace. It also illustrates how desktop behavior, just like our preferences on smartphones, has migrated to apps and away from enterprise software suites."

Another great article on this topic, "The PC is Not Dead. Yet." by John C. Dvorak of PC Magazine talks about how technology has made the PC almost too good. What I think he means is that the hardware has gotten so good with storage, display, and other options being good enough for many years to come; there is no good reason to buy a new one. I like this quote from the article:

"The last nail in the dead PC coffin comes from the PC itself. The personal computer, for all practical purposes committed suicide."

Paradigm Shift

No matter where you stand on this issue, there is no way to ignore the paradigm shift that is happening across the computing industry. New, more portable devices with lots of power are in user's hands. Every day we see new ways to use apps, the cloud, big data, and other technologies to make computing easier. The old style of computing is wearing thin: monolithic programs that are hard to learn, infrequent updates, and resource hogs.

COFES 2013

Even Microsoft (MS) is starting to get into the game, at least as far as devices are concerned. At the recent COFES 2013, MS was there presenting Windows 8 and CAD/PLM applications running on 12+ devices. With Windows 8 on many devices you can now start using full-powered PLM solutions on laptops, tablets, phablets, and probably many other devices in the near future.

Collaboration Unchained

What does this mean for PLM? I don't have all the answers yet, but I think it will have a big impact on collaboration, for one thing. In the past, unless you had a powerful workstation at your disposal, you could not really participate in the PLM activities at most companies. Now there will be more opportunities for many people to interact and share information as the design process progresses. Like crowd-sourcing, this will provide the ability to entertain more new ideas, from more people, and include more options in your design process.

Vendors Beware

Vendors had better get ready for the brave new world of PLM. In the future there will be far less toleration for monolithic programs that require tons of resources to support design activities. Users will expect more app-like behavior, and more simplified interactions with information on many devices. Those vendors that persist in offering the same old style of solutions for PLM may see their customers going somewhere else to find a much better PLM experience.


So, what direction is your company taking with PLM? Are you looking for a better way to do things? The technology is coming...are you ready?

What do you think?



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