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Fashion faux-pas and software cost of ownership

I don’t know if you are much into fashion, but last year women jumpsuits were quite trendy and like pretty much every girl I know, I got one. Last week I wanted to wear it for a party, but due to too much good food over the holidays and a January lack of motivation to go the gym, it was a no go. I bitterly thought: I should have bought a pair of trousers, a blouse and a jacket as some of it would still probably fit!

As you are not reading Vogue but a blog about PLM, you are now thinking: what on earth is the connection with software? As a software company we are often given a list of features that a customer needs and they expect us to build a single solution to satisfy these requirements. The way this is normally done is a project is started and after several months of hard work, brainstorming, meetings, development, more meeting, testing, feedbacks, more meetings etc. you finally get a piece of software that more or less fits the original need.

However, the business, the requirements, the teams and related software systems never stop evolving and almost from day one, the delivered solution needs to evolve, enhance, extend and even some features need to be disregarded just to keep up; not to mention the inevitable upgrade of the PLM. That usually means more brainstorming, more meetings, testing, feedback. Very soon the total cost of ownership (TCO) starts to spiral out of control.

hat if instead of purchasing this jumpsuit piece of software your requirement is divided into a series of apps that complement one another and, all together, provide you the perfect outfit? This solution has a lot of benefits:

– The apps implementation and deployment is much easier and therefore less costly.
– When you need to extend or enhance one aspect of your initial requirement, this can be done on just one app adding or changing this specific feature. This “surgical” approach also means a significant time and cost saving.
– If you no longer need part of the features you planned in the first place, the corresponding app can simply be uninstalled without touching any of the others.
– The result is a much more managed TCO and a big decrease of the associated ownership headaches

Apps are the trend in software, but to successfully deliver an app based solution means we must use a DevOps platform built using PLM ideas to make this a concept a reality and get us away from the monolithic spaghetti that most system turn into.

A fashion tip: Avoid jumpsuits and invest in more flexible solutions that can evolve with your shape and form… or your clothes will stay in the closet.