Over the past year the hype around “the cloud” has grown substantially, but so has the confusion. What is the cloud, should I fear it or love it? I’ve started digging into the confusion about the cloud and specifically the impacts it has on PLM.
First there’s the question of terminology
Private, Public, Single Tenant, Multi-tenant, Hosted, SaaS, on-premise, data centers, and more. These terms are all references to various forms of the cloud at the fundamental level. Yes – even the “on-premise”. But here are some clarifications that may help:
- Private, Single Tenant, and on premise, tend to refer to a single enterprise application per server per business. So your business owns or leases equipment and owns or leases the software and the databases whether onsite at the business, at a data center or at some hosted location. The configuration of the software will be unique to the business and may be managed by the business or by contracted IT admin services.
- Public and Multi-tenant cloud offerings are typically a single instance of the software, managed by the supplier, that has multiple businesses using the system all operating on the same version/update level of the software – however the application data is isolated to the security level of the client business. Configuration capabilities are more restrictive as customizations are typically not supported. Features are added globally with any given update and the client business usually has the choice as to whether that feature would be enabled for end users.
Most of the PLM vendors have or plan to have cloud level offerings but the definitions can weigh heavily to one or the other of the directions mentioned above. The level of feature offerings may vary and the data and security models may or may not be appropriate to your business.
I’ll be discussing the details of perceptions and issues around PLM and the Cloud during the upcoming CIMdata webinar on March 11th, so please join me for more insights on this topic.