At PTC Live Global this year, we gave attendees $100 virtual dollars to allocate to maintaining their product lifecycle management (PLM) solution. We gave respondents six choices based on the most common challenges we hear from the companies we work with. We got almost 100 responses. Here are the results and what we think they mean.
About the Audience
The breakdowns for PTC Live Global attendee job titles and industries are below. The majority of attendees are managers and end users from industries including industrial products/equipment, defense, consumer products, automotive, and electronics/high-tech.
Since our respondents are randomly sampled from this group, we assume they have similar attributes.
We asked respondents to divide their $100 across the following six choices. The only requirements were that the total must equal $100 and respondents were not allowed to keep any of their virtual dollars.
- Reducing the cost of providing support
- Re-allocating internal IT resources to more strategic tasks
- Moving beyond basic system maintenance to find ways to enhance and optimize value
- Finding PLM and support best practices to follow
- Improving responsiveness to business users
- Increasing budgeting flexibility
Since we offered six choices, there’s no “easy” way out of this question. Respondents couldn’t just put $20 in five buckets or $25 in four. They had to think about what was really important to them and their companies.
Interpreting the Results
The most interesting thing about the results is that dollars are relatively equally divided between most of these options. At first, we assumed that meant our respondents had taken a mindless approach to their answer, but when we looked closely at the data, we realized that’s not the case. Individual respondents seemed to feel pretty strongly about investing in one area or another.
Of all the options, “Improving responsiveness to business users” received the highest dollar allocation. Digging deeper, we also found that this option had the most respondents that gave it ALL of their $100 budget. This is a bit of a loaded option, since choosing to allocate dollars here admits there’s a responsiveness problem in the first place. Business users are more likely to give this answer than IT, because IT departments often believe they are being responsive to users. Unfortunately, this sets up a lot of internal finger pointing when a PLM initiative stalls or fails.
There is one option, “Increasing budgeting flexibility,” which saw a significantly lower allocation than the other areas. More than half of respondents allocated $0 to this option. We believe this is because of the specific audience polled, which is largely engineers or managers in the product development function. Worries about budgeting flexibility tend to reside at the CTO level, and we simply didn’t have many respondents at that level.
The real takeaway from this is that there are a lot of good reasons to invest in managed services. The reason(s) behind why someone would choose to invest in one area or another really have to do with where they are in their PLM implementation journey and if they’ve already decided to outsource PLM maintenance.
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The $100 Survey is still available. Allocate your $100 now!
Infographic - Cost vs. Impact: Making the Case for Managed Services