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Successfully Navigating the Convergence of Hardware and Software in Product Development


Technological trends such as increased digitization, virtualization and multi-platform connectivity, combined with a growing need to drive down unit product and total lifecycle costs, are forcing companies to increase the software (SW) content in their products. In addition, SW-based innovation is leading the way across companies as a differentiation strategy to fight the increase in hardware (HW) commoditization and rising global competition.

SW may be developed in house for IP protection or quality control reasons, acquired from a third party, or created through collaboration with external partners. Regardless of how the SW functionality is developed, companies are liable for their products and are therefore responsible for proper integration of HW components and SW elements. For these companies, HW and SW integration is becoming a critical function within product development to manage the increased product complexity, and requires multi- disciplinary talent and skills.

Development of integrated HW and SW products requires an approach that merges innovation strategies for product and services. This implies increased complexity in the development process and the need to manage multiple concurrent methodologies.

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