Smart Products Bring New Challenge and Value to Manufacturers

Welcome to part three of this blog series on software–enabled innovation. In my previous blogs I touched on how technology in the manufacturing space has progressed and how the growth of software has led to the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Now let’s take a look at how manufacturers can embrace these technological advances to unlock new business opportunities and accelerate growth.

Manufacturers are beginning to understand that both software and connectivity are essential components to their product development lifecycle. Smart, connected products and the IoT open the door to true closed-loop lifecycle management where product information can be tracked, managed, controlled, and tightly integrated.

But the shift toward smart, connected products presents a unique set of challenges.

Engineering teams need to integrate mechanical, electrical and software components, global teams working across different disciplines, languages and systems must collaborate, outsourced development to suppliers or strategic partners needs to be managed and coordinated, and intellectual property (IP) needs to be protected.

To remain competitive, manufacturers must adopt lean and agile methodologies, support software product lines, manage variants and platform changes, streamline regulatory compliance, and improve software quality management processes.

The effort is well worthwhile. By investing in software development, manufacturers have seen some significant improvements in efficiency, profit, competitive edge, and even development times.

In a recent McKinsey & Company report, several companies improved their time to market by 30 to 40 percent by focusing on embedded software development, and a recent IBM executive report found that 69 percent of companies that leverage software development effectively outperform their competitors.

Learn more about how connected software is changing our world and how manufacturers are transforming their businesses.