How to Start with Cloud PIM: The Ultimate Guide
The story of the cloud is not hundred years old. But, in less than two decades, it has overtaken the traditional model by storm. Most enterprise applications now run on a cloud-based model from CRM, HCM, ERP, CMS, Collaboration, and Communication apps, to sales and procurement. Product information management software is no different. Soon, cloud-based PIM software will be the predominant force in digital commerce business growth. But you must ensure your team understands the key differences between on-premises and cloud PIM software.
The Awakening: For Cloud PIM
First and foremost, what does cloud-based product information management (PIM) software mean to your organization? It is not hard to answer, but the question is how correctly you define it in the context of your organization and what positive impact it can have on your business.
Cloud PIM is similar to any other cloud licensing model where accession to the PIM software is provided to the customer on a subscription basis. However, unlike on-premise PIM, the cloud PIM software runs on secure external servers and is accessed via the web browser. PIM vendors take full responsibility for maintaining the source code, security, and feature upgrades. The customer has the option to store data in the cloud, on the local drive, or both.
Moving to Cloud PIM has optimal benefits; it should not be considered a technological transformation. However, it is more than that. Here are some helpful hints:
- Understand cloud requirements not just based on technological ground but also cultural and economic ground
- Determine whether cloud is right for you considering people, process, and technology
- Check the timing to know your actual readiness for the cloud shift
- Analyze your environment from project management, technical decision-making, training, risk/security decision-making, financial governance, operations, and vendor management perspective.
The Assessment: Technological and Economic Benefits
Gartner predicts that worldwide, public cloud services are forecast to grow 21.5% (22.4% in constant currency) in 2022. Organizations continue accelerating cloud adoption, which is driving a five-year compound annual growth rate of 21.7% (21% in constant currency). Gartner believes it is only a matter of time before big players stop offering perpetual licenses altogether.
Organizations now strive to simplify their product offerings driven by changing customer behavior. The cloud is a front-runner in providing flexibility, agility, and speed that organizations seek in order to stand out from the competition. Begin by understanding:
- How does Cloud based PIM increase the pace and quality of product data, and the ability to exploit new customer touchpoints?
- How does the Cloud PIM’s contributions improve cost, speed, and efficiency?
- How does it help enter new markets, improve customer relationships, and foster innovation?
- How does it deliver greater business agility and improve collaboration amongst teams?
- And, the overall value you’ll get from the cloud in terms of business continuity and competitive edge
But, before you embark on your Cloud PIM journey, you must analyze its capabilities on both technological and economical front. Let us find out, why?
It is a simple rule of thumb that business growth can be achieved through transformation of new technologies and improvement in operational efficiency. Under this rule, technological innovation is the engine that compel organizations to make the call in order to achieve targeted growth. But, you must perform in-depth technological analysis to ensure how the new tool is going to be the right fit.
How access to cloud-enabled PIM tool can only accelerate innovation. You can work with your technology team to identify business contexts where cloudification is most needed, with a view to directing the increased investment in priority areas of product information management. Moreover, how shifting to Cloud PIM solution is going to help you prepare to respond to disruptions, automation, and accessibility, and improvement in customer satisfaction.
Economically speaking, the cloud model is an example of innovation. But, there are also many advantages. Reduction of initial costs is one of them, as well as reduced deployment and maintenance costs for software applications. There is also a significant reduction in the "cost" associated with deploying an application because it's accessed via web browser or internet connection-no need to install or deploy on each individual device! Customers only pay for how much space they use, not idle capacity that may be used in future.
PIM software deployment is easy in the era of cloud. Why? Well, for starters it reduces initial development costs and cuts back on installing or deploying software to systems or mobile devices. Besides that, there are performance requirements but most of the heavy lifting is done by hardware provided by your vendor's cloud-computing power which you only have to pay for if you are using it at the time.
The Preparation: Cloud PIM Transition
A narrow interpretation of the cloud, as a licensing and delivery model, assumes that it is merely process innovation. However, nowadays a broader understanding prevails which recognizes unique possibilities with the cloud. Which means cloud PIM transformation takes place in addition to its business benefits are not only different but also radical when compared with traditional models.
So, you should begin by determining which are your highest priorities on product information management processes, operations, and teams that are most relevant to your business. Once you’ve narrowed your requirement to the operational areas most connected to your PIM objectives, you must work with the key stakeholders for cloud adoption. Here are the points to consider:
- Build a comprehensive Cloud PIM strategy that delivers flexibility for your existing requirements, while supporting your data management innovation for future needs
- Create a well-defined framework to pinpoint the clear use cases for Cloud PIM, analyzing both benefits and challenges
- Develop security, management, and governance processes for your PIM Cloud environment
- Evaluate when rehosting, refactoring, rebuilding, or replacing your Cloud PIM application delivers value
- Consolidate and coordinate workflows/processes that exploit Cloud PIM to support your operational activities
The Execution: For More Precise Results
In order to successfully use cloud applications, you need a plan. Here are some factors you need to know when implementing cloud PIM into your company.
Cloud PIM Vendor Selection: First, you should thoroughly understand the SLA of the Cloud PIM vendor and the software. Then, make the final call. You can opt for a trail version to understand which version serves you the best.
Pricing Models: The price of Cloud PIM subscription varies from vendor to vendor. You should choose the subscription price of Cloud PIM software based on your exact requirement. Some of the most used pricing models are:
- per user pricing
- per product pricing
- per company pricing
Transition Your Application: Create the fastest path for your cloud migration planning. If your application needs to be refactored before moving to the cloud, then you must plan it in advance. Along with that, if there are any dependencies, consult with the respective teams and departments. After all the checks and balances, you should start with the first movers, continue to do so phase-wise. First pilot test, and then scale it slowly.
Continuous Improvement: After the transition, you should test early and often. Plus, you must embed governance in the system and choose the right metrics to gauge financial health of your Cloud PIM. Last but not the least, continues monitoring is key to trace where the Cloud PIM system is positively impacting your business.
Start Your Cloud PIM Journey with Pimcore
Pimcore Cloud Edition offers the quickest solution to deploy a PIM software in your business ecosystem. You can manage product data, customer data, master data, and digital media assets from a single UI to improve your operational efficiency and time-to-market, while minimizing cost.
Pimcore Cloud Edition is available in three different packages that you can choose from depending on your needs. All three come with 100 percent predictable costs and a user-friendly setup, ready for immediate use without technical customization.