Managing Complexity – Embedded Software Industry Has No Other Choice!

May 16, 2014

Nowadays, the real added value of engineered products is the embedded software. Software development complexity is a new experience in the engineered product world. Businesses that were quick to adapt have gained a clear advantage over competitors, however it is not too late for the rest.

What does complexity mean in the embedded industry?

Complexity of embedded software products is growing. The boom in industrial internet (IoT) connectivity has resulted in a revolution in software based intelligence in cars, airplanes, trains and in medical devices with increasing complexity. The complexity of software can be described the number of lines of code, – for example in a B787 aircraft has 15.000.000 and the modern car contains approximately 100.000.000 lines of code.

Web-mobile-sensing technology is developing very quickly and therefore navigation, entertainment, communication systems and driverless intelligence adopts the latest technology within short time. The embedded product’s software lifecycle is shortening. It is easy to understand why. It is due to the increasing demand for engineered products with embedded software with updates providing improved functionality. The industry needs ALM solutions that are scaleable for management of increasing complexity and gain full traceability (essential for compliance with industry regulations). ALM tools are developed to manage the software development lifecycle (SDLC) while PLM suits for product development. In some cases companies try to use PLM tools for ALM purposes but this approach usually fails. Looking at the statistics the ALM market is quickly growing by 8% annually. The ideal situation would be the seamless integration of ALM and PLM system to achieve full product traceability. Understanding that ALM and PLM are complementary not competitive solutions.

How Does Increasing Software Complexity Effect the Industry?

  • Understanding that at management level, ALM is fundamentally different from PLM, software development can not be covered with PLM tools
  • ALM is not a “nice to have” tool, but rather essential since the embedded industry has no alternative for management of software complexity
  • Production companies need to allocate budget for integration of ALM and PLM and insert both into their tool chain
  • PLM tool providers should refocus their strategy, which has been started with M&A activities among ALM and PLM providers.

Intland created a Prezi TM story to evangelize the importance of ALM tools, explaining with a cartoon “Codemonster” how the complexity can frighten industry players. Check out our Prezi presentation and start codeBeamer for free.

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Reka Moksony

Written by

Reka is an economist with an MBA and 10+ years of experience in ICT with ERP, SCM, web, and mobile applications, as well as skills in international business development, consulting, and project management. You will find her blog posts on a variety of subjects from application lifecycle management and software quality standards to Agile methods.

Reka Moksony has written 42 posts for Intland Software.

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