In my blog 3 Predictions Impacting the 2023 Enterprise PLM Cloud Market, I predicted that “…as companies find that managing complex PLM deployments on the cloud requires more than just cloud technology, but also the skills to manage it effectively, the importance of PLM SaaS offerings will accelerate quickly in 2023.”

So, where are we now? Are we seeing the predicted acceleration of PLM SaaS?

While reliable statistics on PLM (product lifecycle management) SaaS adoption are hard to come by, there are many indications that the PLM SaaS business is picking up steam quickly. For example, Aras recently reportedaccelerated growth of its SaaS business from both the migration of existing Aras Innovator® customers to SaaS as well as new customers choosing SaaS. In the first three quarters of 2023, Aras had more than 50% year-over-year growth in SaaS deployments for its Aras Innovator platform.

Other large, traditionally on-premise PLM providers have also indicated that their SaaS offerings and investments in innovative technology have increased significantly in 2023. At the Siemens Realize Live conference, the company discussed the rapid adoption and growth of the cloud version of Teamcenter. Meanwhile, PTC reaffirmed their continued investments in their cloud delivery strategy at LiveWorx.

SaaS is something to talk about

With Gartner® forecasting “Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Reach Nearly $600 Billion in 2023,” this amounts to a “21.7% increase from the previous year.”1

There is no reason to believe the move to SaaS will slow down any major enterprise software deployment. This is especially relevant for PLM, where cloud adoption initially lagged behind other types of enterprise software.

Gartner continued by saying, “Cloud computing is driving the next phase of digital business, as organizations pursue disruption through emerging technologies like generative artificial intelligence (AI), Web3 and the metaverse.”1

This connects well with Aras CTO Rob McAveney’s comments made recently during the webinar Aras Hot Takes: Providing our PLM Perspective on the latest News Headlines (starting at 24:12): “The move to cloud-based PLM is going to accelerate this process (AI)…on the cloud, you have access to AI services that are not really available in your data center. You have access to computing resources that you do not have with your on-premises deployment. You have access to external data – the entire internet of data that can be used to train those models.”

With PLM serving as a critical enabler for digital business transformations – which is partly driving cloud growth – it is a safe bet that the PLM SaaS space will continue to grow quickly, making up for the lackluster start of its adoption several years ago. Gartner also predicts that “by 2026, 50% of midsize and large manufacturers will adopt SaaS — PLM, design, and simulation — tools compared with fewer than 20% today.” That’s a lot of ground to cover in two years.

Aras customers adopting SaaS

As mentioned earlier, Aras has seen considerable growth in SaaS deployments over the past two years. Let’s look at a few of Aras’ new SaaS customers and how they leverage Aras Innovator in the cloud to drive their organization forward.

Red Bull selects Aras Innovator PLM platform

Aras’ SaaS-based application platform will be integrated into Red Bull’s existing SAP S4/HANA and enterprise application infrastructure. In addition to handling the company’s complex recipe management, it will provide support for compliance concerns and ensure a seamless connection with the company’s global partner network. This is a crucial factor as Red Bull is active in 175 countries and sells more than 11.5 billion cans of its energy drink each year.

As a global company with a growing portfolio, it is essential that Red Bull has a solution in place to ensure all parties have access to the most accurate and up to date product data that adheres to the regulatory compliance standards of the food and beverage industry.

Aras Innovator will enable Red Bull to configure their PLM solution to meet their unique needs as well as adapt it to respond to new requirements or take advantage of new innovation. In the food and beverage industry, regulatory standards require very precise information about ingredients and supply chains. This becomes even more complex in the case of Red Bull where production and sales are global. The digital solution behind it must combine scalability and flexibility so the entire end-to-end process can be accurately managed and monitored.

Red Bull comments: “Transparency and security throughout the entire supply chain is crucial for us as a global beverage manufacturer. Aras Innovator provides a unified environment that allows all users of product information to collaborate around a single set of processes and data.”

H-TEC SYSTEMS drives business growth with Aras

H-TEC SYSTEMS, part of MAN Energy Solutions SE, is a technological pioneer in the cost-effective and reliable production of green hydrogen. Aras Innovator empowers H-TEC SYSTEMS to support the complexity of its projects and adapt over time to manage the requirements of new applications.

With Aras Innovator, H-TEC SYSTEMS gains new flexibility built on a robust set of platform services that can be easily extended leveraging a modular structure. This enables H-TEC to be more responsive to customer needs and give the company more comprehensive visibility of its data.

H-TEC comments: “It was important to us that we could easily integrate further systems and applications in the future via existing interfaces. Thanks to its adaptable and open architecture, Aras Innovator enables us to achieve this. This means we can quickly integrate existing and new applications or authoring systems from our various departments. The combination of a cloud-native solution and open system architecture guarantees both horizontal and vertical scalability.”

SaaS platform improves traceability of automotive components3

To eliminate the problem of different software programs to trace parts at each division during product development and assembly, Kendrion implemented a single PLM platform across all divisions. The objective of the approach was to improve their ability to integrate new tools and processes.

Kendrion liked Aras Innovator’s capability to customize the platform for each application on a SaaS platform easily. A low-code DevOps feature ensures the reliability of this integration and deployment to improve each product’s overall time to market.

Kendrion comments: “Cloud-based PLM enables greater resiliency across the lifecycle, and Aras provides a flexible approach that is necessary to create, manage and optimize a dynamic digital thread.”

Join us at ACE 2024

If you would like to find out how moving to the cloud will help you keep pace with your latest business transformations or if a PLM SaaS deployment better fits your future business strategy, you need to attend ACE 2024, March 4 – 7!

You can join product lifecycle management experts from around the world to explore the latest in PLM innovation and meet with Aras experts to build connections. You will gain valuable skills and expertise while exploring new perspectives on the technology and industry trends reshaping the business of innovation.

1Gartner, Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Reach Nearly $600 Billion in 2023, April 19, 2023. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved
2Gartner, How to Plan for a Successful Adoption of SaaS PLM, By Sudip Pattanayak, Marc Halpern, Alexander Hoeppe, Christian Hestermann, 20 January 2023
3Assembly Magazine, SaaS Platform Improves Traceability of Automotive Components, August 2022