7 Points of Consideration for the PLM System Administrator
At the end of a busy day the last thing a CIO or IT system administrator wants is a phone call about a mission critical system, like PLM, going down.
Work is hectic enough already - working with budget cuts, executive reviews, staff performance, buyer trend reports, security risk mitigating and digital transformation initiatives - without adding software crashes into the mix.
The inevitable question each of us ends up asking therefore, is, “are we spending too much time buried in putting out fires?
The growing list of IT functions over the years have caused leaders to either expand department headcount or look to outside help.
Let's take a look and see if you fall into this category.
1.) Are you short staffed?
This dilemma is perhaps the chief-most reason businesses trudge along without addressing the problem.
Meanwhile, the problem never resolves itself. Relying on in-house, “jack-of-all-trade’s” for highly specialized, application-specific PLM support requires time to come up to speed and pulls resources from core business tasks, but on the flip-side, hiring a full complement of in-house PLM staff quickly takes you outside your budget.
For less than the cost of a full-time employee supported businesses get a team, made up of a project manager, system integrator and an account manager - all of whom remain with the business for the entire life of the service.
PLM support immediately becomes cost effective.
2.) Do you struggle to prioritize your PLM needs?
Do you have PLM modules that are not being fully utilized or even implemented?
Delaying implementation is costly and stalls investment time to value, experiencing system benefits, having the purchased module(s) in the first place. It is important to have a thorough understanding of your vertical coupled with industry best practice to ensure that you are getting the best value and ROI for your organization.
Support enables more resources targeted specifically to your industry. Apart from PLM needs, they provide a wealth of knowledge to be applied to system health checks, specific trainings, or even consulting.
3.) Are you continuously having PLM downtime issues?
When you don’t have the proper PLM resources available, down-time can become a serious problem that can cost a lot of money, dramatically hinder your ability to grow, and keep you from taking full advantage of this critical enterprise system. You'll end up addressing the symptoms of a problem without addressing the root causes, which leaves your PLM in a break-fix cycle that's never-ending and nightmarish.
Support allows you to rest assured that your problem will be fixed correctly the first time.
4.) Is your IT team stretched too thin?
If your in-house PLM expert is someone who handles the technology duties of your organization on top of their other primary responsibilities, then that person probably spends most of their time putting out fires instead of taking proactive and preventative measures to strengthen your PLM environments. Ponemon recently shared a survey which underlines this point. 73% of IT organizations are understaffed. Meanwhile, those working IT professionals report that their average work week is 49 hours, causing burnout. Do you experience this?
Additional focused support provides value to firms who already have internal IT teams.
5.) Is your staff focused on ad-hoc issues or preventative care?
This is a common problem. Most organizations devote in-house resources to maintaining the current environment. This involves patches, troubleshooting and provisioning if that. While this is vital to keeping your PLM application up and running, it leaves very little time for your PLM team to focus on big, strategic issues that could potentially deliver even more value.
Support will detect issues early, solve them, and prevent it from happening again.
6.) Is your PLM staff equipped with necessary PLM expertise?
Outsourcing the day-to-day maintenance of your PLM technology allows for companies of all sizes to be able to have expert resources available to support their application needs whether it’s performance optimization, creating best practice security models or implementing an adapter to ERP.
Support instantly delivers a PLM authority to your organization that is equipped with specific knowledge, training and certifications only gained through experience in overcoming PLM complications many times.
7.) Are you responsible for taking existing applications to the Cloud?
With technology constantly evolving, the focus on taking advantage of them rises as they become available.
We recently sat down with a former IT Director for the State of Utah, Ryan Walker. He shared that the primary struggles he faced were keeping up with business needs by implementing new technologies, keeping employee training up-to-date on hardware and software, and working with small budgets to get this all accomplished.
Your goal may be to move to cloud applications now or later but either way, you will need a bullet-proof plan to safely and efficiently migrate your data and then road map out new or differing functionality.
You need support who is experienced, holds invaluable knowledge, and knows best practices when updating and/or upgrading the solutions of your company.
Whether you have a skeleton crew, overburdened staff, PLM crashes, in need of training, or gaps within your PLM solution, it benefits you to stop being reactive but rather be preventative and strategize improvement.
Look to incorporate a team that can create confidence within your PLM solution by bridging the gaps of knowledge or the lack of dedicated staff that may be fragmenting their time between their daily responsibilities and PLM support.
Instead of hiring and training more staff or piling even more duties onto an overburdened IT, why not consider contracting your support with a third party specialist. Plenty of organizations out there can help you achieve your system goals and stay ahead of problems.
Every company looking to maximize its PLM investments potential should seriously consider signing up for Application Support. While costing less than the price of a full-time employee, you add the capabilities and functions of a whole team of experts. No headaches and no money being wasted.