Embedded software execs say outsourcing is the answer - Embedded.com

Embedded software execs say outsourcing is the answer

LONDON — More than half embedded software (ESW) executives say they outsource or plan to outsource many of their activities, including software testing, maintenance of ESW legacy code, and new ESW development due to a shortage in talent.

This is one of the findings from a survey of 90 executives worldwide and in-depth interviews with industry leaders in the ESW industry sponsored by Accenture and conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit in the Spring of 2006.

As a result identifying and contracting with high-quality outsourcing partners is the most serious human-resource management issue that the executives expect to face during the next three years.

Interoperability testing across the value chain is a great challenge facing the industry say the execs but deep collaboration among partners during product planning and development addresses many ESW development challenges. Nearly half (46 percent) of survey respondents say speeding up the time it takes to bring products containing embedded software (ESW) to consumers is the top management challenge with ESW development often chronically behind schedule.

The second-biggest challenge the senior executives face is coordinating with outside partners and software developers. Only 19 percent of companies responding to the survey say they gather and manage customer requirements very well, and only 18 percent say they work very well with outside partners.

Next in terms of difficulty of getting low cost, on-time quality products designed, shipped and sold, is interoperability testing. More than half of survey respondents indicate they do not have an automated testing capability, and 88% of them admit they do not do a very good job of testing products to ensure market-readiness.

Almost a third of respondents indicate they lack in-house software expertise, the fourth-biggest challenge. To address the problem, more than half the ESW executives surveyed say they currently outsource, or plan to outsource, many of their activities: software testing, the maintenance of ESW legacy code, and new ESW development.

Nearly half of respondents say they don’t posses standardized tools to automate ESW development or that if they have such tools they barely use them. A full quarter of respondents say their company poorly or very poorly reuses ESW code and designs.

 Embedded.com has also reported on what operating systems embedded systems designers are using.

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