Monday, March 21, 2011

Open Web 2.0 vs. Apps

Check out the great post from John Battelle called A Report Card on Web 2 and the App Economy .
He brought two topics together that I’ve been thinking about:
-          Web 2.0 principles – I was using them on Social Product Development defined
-          Apps – I was wondering about their relevance for PLM in No PLM apps at M-Days2011 - why not?
John Battelle analyzed how apps compare to today’s web in terms of the Web 2.0 principles originally established by Tim O’Reilly. He summarized his findings in this image and then discussed each in a bit more detail.
web 2 report card.png
(Picture copyright by John Battelle,
As you can see, apps don’t stand a chance against today’s Web (2.0) when measured in terms of Web 2.0 principles :-) .

So, what does this mean for PLM apps?
First of all, the PLM apps that currently exist represent a client for the corporate PLM platform, i.e. some of the principles just don’t apply.
But I think we can still transfer some of his thinking to PLM: 
  • the control of data ownership is an essential topic, as discussed in End-to-end OOTB vs. open, standards-based PLM . By using apps as an online PLM client, we don’t create new issues in this field. But offline usage with the related data synchronization issues or even peer-to-peer networking of multiple mobile PLM devices would create new issues.
  • We haven’t reached the End of the Software Release Cycle in PLM. On the contrary – release updates are still major projects with significant cost and risk. I like John’s comment that “the Web has totally checked this box - when was the last you checked what version of Google you were using?” With PLM apps, we just have to take care that we don’t pile up new release update issues.
  • The rich user experience is where apps potentially beat native Web 2.0 applications – although you could argue that there are a lot of nice Web 2.0 site  and a lot of bad apps. But John’s point was that the user experience of apps could be so compelling that you just throw-away all the other principles of Web 2.0.
So where are the compelling PLM apps?

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