The rapid transition towards the industrialization of software has caught many manufacturers off guard. A new set of design and development challenges must be addressed to capitalize on the advantages software can bring to new product development, and the ongoing innovations it offers in how products are used and serviced. If software teams remain isolated and software is treated as just another part instead of being introduced early into the design process, you are missing significant opportunity for innovation and market share.
If you are not using software to drive innovation and deliver expected capabilities, you risk customer satisfaction erosion and you open the door for competition. Without innovation you are unable to disrupt or move the market to protect price premiums and you miss new market opportunities, allowing the competition to leap ahead.
Sanjay K. Jha said he knows that in order for Motorola to produce the kind of profit margins it wants long term, it will have to be able to differentiate its software. Hardware differentiation, he said, gives only a six-month advantage versus doing something unique in software.
When software is treated as an integral part of product design, you are able to deliver differentiated features, update or improve capabilities after the product is shipped, and optimize support and service processes. Software further enables you to adopt agile and lean practices so you can better keep pace with high-velocity and late-stage product changes. Software can be the key to reinvigorating your products, protecting against competitive threats and achieving greater levels of customer satisfaction.
Process Improvement Opportunities
The most successful companies employ software for continuous innovation by transforming one or more of these key software development processes: