Modern IT departments grasp the reasons why the cloud is preferential to on-premise for many enterprise systems — if it wasn’t a secure and stable option, massive companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google wouldn’t be betting so heavily on its success. Where does cloud fit in for organizations that aren’t worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and how can it make manufacturers more efficient? In many cases, cloud-hosted PLM is the answer.

What is cloud-hosted PLM?

Cloud-hosted PLM definitions vary by specific product, but in almost every case, an external company manages the cloud infrastructure, as well as the enterprise PLM software. The customer has the ability to manage and direct as much or as little of the system administration as they like. This setup permits the flexibility and accessibility of cloud infrastructure with the power of a PLM system that unites engineering data, bill of materials (BOM) management, and other enterprise processes in a collaborative, auditable system.

What are the advantages of cloud-hosted PLM?

In addition to the power of PLM, the advantages of using an expert cloud vendor are numerous, including:

  • Affordability. For SMB organizations, the cost advantages of using third-party cloud infrastructure are massive. Building in-house cloud infrastructure requires sizeable investment of financial and human capital, plus resources to manage and maintain the environment.
  • Maintenance, support, and reliability. The cloud provider bears responsibility for preventing and resolving problems. Their expertise is often beyond that of internal resources that likely carry other responsibilities in addition to managing the cloud.
  • Security. Security experts agree that the contemporary cloud is as secure as on-prem data, if not more secure. Cloud providers have deep experience protecting sensitive data and offer redundancies, encryption, and other security features that are costly and difficult to reproduce in-house.
  • Scalability. Cloud vendors offer the option to start small and grow with your business, saving up-front costs and offering tremendous ROI on future growth.
  • Collaboration. Cloud-hosted PLM “unlocks” your engineering department, uniting users of all skill levels and business units to participate in the product lifecycle. Access and user rights are easily managed by an admin, either internally or at the vendor.

What’s the downside?

In fairness, cloud hosted PLM might not be an option for all organizations. Some concerns that may prevent a cloud-hosted model include:

  • Security concerns. Though the cloud is secure, there are no ironclad guarantees of data fidelity. Some organizations prefer to maintain their own data in-house, either on premise or in a self-contained cloud environment. Others, such as military contractors, are subject to strict regulation that make third party cloud hosting difficult.
  • Lack of control. For some organizations, losing control of their data or their environment is untenable. Some companies would prefer the investment in an in-house cloud system to control their expansion, granularity of management, how it is used and deployed, etc. Others prefer on-prem data management.

Why 3 HTi’s cloud-hosted PLM is best-in-class

In summary, 3 HTi’s cloud offering combines all the advantages of cloud hosting (lower cost, even compared with other cloud options, scalability, full management, etc.) with complete knowledge of Windchill PLM. 3 HTi’s services team delivers not just a world-class cloud experience, but a world-class Windchill environment that can be out of the box, fully customized, or anywhere in between. Additionally, our staff of technical experts provides full systems admin monitoring and service for both the cloud hosting and Windchill systems.

If your organization is ready to fly in the clouds, contact our services team today for a complimentary discovery session to develop a solution that fits your needs. We have deployed cloud hosted Windchill for organizations using two seats and others with two dozen (or more!)