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Recipe for an embedded success story

Posted: 03 Dec 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:embedded software? success recipe? software development?

Kabra: The embedded software market is a linchpin driving convergence throughout electronics and high technology.

Writing embedded software code is not rocket science; it is doable by a wide range of people with a broad set of skills. The challenge comes in systems integration involving a multitude of programs.

The embedded software business is moving and changing quickly. It involves a slew of interrelated industries and simultaneous dynamics. And it is sharply competitive, thanks to its huge potential.

Having worked as a technology consultant and active participant in the communications handset software industry for the past decade, I have outlined some guidelines for success in embedded software.

Devise!Formulate an industrialized approach to software development. That means standardizing OS, using open-source software, and setting up repeatable processes to streamline testing and development of embedded software.

The embedded software industry should progress together in a solutions-oriented, collaborative way. Collaboration is one of the industry's biggest challenges but is also one of its most vital requirements.

Recognize!In managing embedded software's technical complexity, recognize that it is vital to have systems integration capability and the expertise to coordinate various layers of ecosystem dynamics and elements. Such coordination requires superior skills in operating a project management office.

Acknowledge!Recognize that many of the embedded software ecosystem players are globally distributed. Thus, it is critical that an onshore presence exists.

Implement!Apply the next level of quality scrutiny beyond the campaign slogans of "CMMI (capability maturity model integration) Level-5 Compliant" often used in the industry. Tracking software defects by stage gate and compiling software metrics are essential to success.

Provide!Offer differentiated end-to-end process management, such as start-to-finish product design road maps, embedded software milestones, and product launching and testing. End-to-end management means driving the start of the software project and following through to its completion. This will alleviate inadequate product testing, one of the industry's biggest problems.

Manage!Gather and manage customer requirements to bring successful products to market, coordinate the efforts of software and hardware designers, test products to help confirm market readiness and work with outside companies.

Conquer!Master the skills of integration. Embrace a converged system-level design approach for integrating embedded software and hardware made by different vendors. Such system understanding provides an opportunity for differentiation.

Highlight!Emphasize timely delivery of products to market. The late delivery of products is ranked among the top three biggest challenges the industry faces, according to an Accenture survey last year. More than 50 percent of software designs are completed behind schedule.

The embedded software market is a linchpin driving convergence throughout electronics and high technology. This type of software should be on your radar screen as a promising business opportunity that isn't as complex as it may seem!and that presents more opportunities than you might have realized.

- Abhijit Kabra
Senior Executive
Product Engineering and Development Business Practice, Accenture

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