Not predictions, just a PLM wish list for 2020!

Yoann Maingon
Not predictions, just a PLM wish list for...

I wish you all a happy new year. My blog colleagues all came up with predictions for either the coming years or like oleg and Jos, for 2030. There are some very interesting thoughts in these predictions, more cloud, supporting the next generation of workers, more integrations,… Lots of good point point. My thoughts, started from, what really changed these last 10 years? I don’t feel like a lot changed in PLM. PLM projects are still difficult to implement, the software and the consulting is still a massive budget for a project that is still complicated to calculate its ROI. So instead of prediction I wanted to give a wish list.

I named this list wish list for 2020 but some of the items may take years, so I’ll try to update it next year.


There has been a lot of talk about low-code platform in the last part of 2019. To me it was just a marketing thing as applications with a part of configuration and a bit of code have been there for a few decades already and nothing really new came up in 2019. What would be really cool though, is that PLM consultants without coding knowledge could go beyond the configuration limitations without knowing a programming language. Then why couldn’t we have some sort of easy way of development like Scratch? You don’t know scratch? it looks like this:

It has been a great tool to initiate kids to algorithm and programming. I’m sure by adapting some of these bricks, PLM would be much easier to configure and less scarier.

ROI Calculators

ROI calculator, is more a dream. The input is so complex, that ideally, you would film your company for a week, process images and sounds and computer data with an Artificial Intelligence and then it would tell you : “By implementing a PLM solution you could become 20% more innovative, reduce engineering search time by X%,..

If we stay closer to reality, better sample ROI calculator, not just for PDM or CAD would be great. Even if it requires the company to enter a lot of data and not garantes an accurate result but just a trend, that would be good enough.

Graph everywhere

Graph has been my thing for a few years now and I really believe this is the key to scalability. I see too many companies implementing multiple PLM instances for different departments because they are scared to be to dépendant on others when it comes to governance but also performances. If I have a small department, maybe I don’t want to have my PLM flood by another large department. Graph will allow to stop navigating through huge tables, but instead it has local webs, connecting parts, documents, or any items. When you pull this web, you get a local graph which is scaled to your activity.

Every PLM discussion I have includes drawing a graph at some time. It is much easier to implement it as is.

CI/CD made easy

This may sound very technical but it is still something that you meet at every implementation project and which requires significant ressources with a high level of expertise. Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment is a key success factor, for iterating on your PLM projects.

AI for Migration & Integration

A major activity of every PLM project is the Migration. Wouldn’t it be cool thing if you could just define a target datamodel, upload all your data sources and Voilà ! AI puts transforms and connects all the necessary data to integrate it in your target system. We can dream, but I’m not sure this is so much a dream.

Less BS

And last but not least, I would like marketing to be careful and customers to be more listening to problem solvers, not fantasy anouncers. The last decade, PLM has been announced to do a lot of things which I’m sure didn’t happen much in companies. PLM for Mobile, IOT closing the PLM loop, System Engineering and AI combined to design the product by just giving Requirements, Low-code platform, Open Source,… The only thing I see is : Microsoft Excel is still the number one PLM ! sadly.

Let me know your wishes ! this is going to be a great decade ! If you would rather discuss predicitons, take a look at these two great posts:

Have a great week-end !

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