It is said that one of the greatest pushes on progress in the 20th century came from the standardization of the container. By standardizing the container, transport of goods became much easier as everybody worldwide knew how to transport goods from A to B. The truck driver, the railway people, the ship men but also the people who were moving things from A to B knew exactly what could be transported. Enormous advantage. This happened in the 50’s.
In the second decade of the 21st century, it is still enormous difficult to exchange CAD data from one solution to another solution as every software vendor uses its own proprietary data format – and none of the big users (Caterpillar, Nokia, Mercedes, Apple, ASML, …) are complaining, at least not publicly. Thousands and thousands of hours are lost into non- productive hours of rebuilding CAD data. It’s data on how cars, ships, engines, and so on are build and developed. There’s no view on any breakthrough in the coming years.
There is however a breakthrough coming in the ERP world and that has to do with the “appification” of software. Large, monolithic applications are gradually being transformed/ exchanged into small(er), more nimble applications. Unique implementations are being transformed into one-size-fits-all (yes I know, customizations will still exist but will become much smaller). Companies do not want to pay anymore for big, fatty implementations.
As a result, data exchange between these “apps” will become more transparent under pressure of the end user and changing software world. If data can flow more easily between stand-alone apps, new information can make companies more productive and real competition in the ERP world (or operational data world) can finally start.