This article discusses that developments in communication software promise a robust future for engineering technology. Collaborative technology, the next new thing, links all aspects of a business, including ways to easily marry a company’s engineering technologies to suppliers’ and vendors’ product data management (PDM) systems. The companies selling engineering technology can expect to operate in a rich, fertile market for the next 20 years, according to one technology analyst, especially with the introduction of product process management systems. Some engineers advise caution in heeding the clarion call of collaborative product development technology. The PDM market, valued at $5.8 billion last year, could double and perhaps even quadruple within five years if pursued aggressively and supplemented with collaborative technology, according to one expert. The article also discusses that for a technology as difficult to understand, to assess the need for, and to finance as collaborative systems may prove to be, suppliers should assume some of implementation’s financial risks.

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