Connected systems, autonomous vehicles, alternative drive systems – in the automotive industry, new technology has an interesting ability to challenge established paradigms. Our job is to support your teams in electronics development as they acquire the necessary software skills to deal with these changes and gear themselves to the future.
By equipping your teams with the innovation capabilities they require at all levels of R&D, we ensure that your company continues to tread the path of success in the future.
As more and more systems and technologies converge into connected systems, the goalposts of automotive electronics are shifting. Services and vehicles are virtually coalescing, evolving into integrated offerings that turn cars into hubs, connected through the internet of things. Each new business model and shift in overall parameters can have a fundamental impact on the requirements placed on architectures, and the same applies to organisational structures and workflows. It’s no secret that connected vehicles now comprise of a huge number of software systems, within a systems environment that’s also driven by software. As a result, software skills are now a key competence – know-how with the ability to dictate the shape of competition.
This is where we come in: as management consultants from an E/E development background that gives us a detailed understanding of development and technology. We start with your business objectives and requirements and use these as a foundation for understanding the ways and areas in which your company will need to adapt in order to fulfil your objectives. To do this, we take a bird’s-eye view of technology and ensure that it is synchronised with workflows, procedural methods and the structure of your organisation.
If it wasn’t already the most important feature, since of the age of connectivity software has now finally become the most crucial technology inside and outside vehicles. Connected vehicles are now capable of interacting with other vehicles and systems such as back-end servers and transport infrastructures. As such, a connected vehicle is a part of a system of systems. What this means for companies is that they have to radically readjust their thinking. They now have to assume responsibility for products that may end up operating in unknown environments. This is because ultimately, the way a system of systems behaves is dictated by how each individual system interacts with all the others. Caught up in the middle of all these interactions is the vehicle itself – now part of a network. The problem is, it’s not always possible to pinpoint how any specific system could react in advance, because for one reason or another the overall parameters that could affect a vehicle are still not known. Yet this is the starting point for how connected vehicles have to be developed and function in the future.
As a result, companies have to fundamentally realign their businesses. Development departments will have to come to terms with the fact that their vehicles will also need to be ready to work in unknown environments, yet still remain safe, secure and easy to maintain and service. And this requires comprehensive software competence.
Ten lessons you can learn as a manager from sport. Our management consultant Steve Tengler offers a unique combination of experience, not only based on his time in management but also his voluntary work coaching young people engaging in sport. The result: 10 fascinating lessons of management.
This whitepaper on the Challenges in System Engineering of Intelligent and Autonomous Systems explains in six steps the approaches that can be used by system engineers with the product design of embedded systems.
The paper was written by consulting expert Dr Michael Faeustle from Kugler Maag Cie in collaboration with Sky Matthews, Chief Technical Officer for the internet of things at IBM.
The internet of things creates networks between different functions within a company – a challenge to traditional thinking when it comes to the division of labour. Digital services should be designed on a multi-departmental basis. In a guest article for the IoT blog of Bosch, we show how BizDevOps can be leveraged to create a uniform UX.
Digital business models are only half the story. Manufacturers used to the regular cycles of products will have to adjust to the business logic of such services. In an article written for Springer Professional, we share insights gained from the management study on Software Drives 2030.
The ability to steer change in a specific way can be crucial in a dynamic business environment. For example, in the automotive industry there is a sea change happening at the moment as established business models and value chains drift away from the vehicle itself and shift towards service orientation. As a consequence, companies have to challenge their own thinking. Instead of all activities revolving around the point of production, the new business agenda is about continually delivering services and connected vehicles beyond the usage cycle.
To take account of this, we now use a model called Driving Change. It provides us with an assessment, control and communication template that allows us to offer firms targeted support as they transform from a traditional business into a ‘software-competent’ company. The key insight that underlies our Driving Change model is that the setup and structures of a company – i.e. how things get done – automatically dictate outcomes. If you look at the systems and structures of established companies, they were put in place to achieve a desired outcome – classic companies create classic products.
With Driving Change, we rethink your company – sometimes quite radically. So we kick off with the desired outcome: the value for your customer. Using this outcome as the starting point, we assess which product and service architectures will need to be put in place and which integrated workflows will be needed to develop and use these products in the first place – and how your business can be set up to achieve this. Drawing on re-engineering principles, we support you as you undergo change such that the pool of expertise, knowledge and assets at your company can also be put to optimal use in the future.
Innovative business models ...
... require suitable product, service and system architectures, ...
developed by using workflows based on defined objectives and ...
supported by a constructive organisational structure and culture.
Need support with a key project? We’re your first port of call when it comes to management consulting and improvement programmes in electronics development.
Steffen Herrmann and the sales team
Software Drives 2030 is a series of studies looking at the software skills a company will require to succeed in the automotive industry in the future. These studies are based on in-depth interviews with experts and decision-makers in the automotive, IT and telecommunications sectors. Their responses were summarised to provide an overall picture. The 2017 report examines required key competences, whereas the 2015 report looks at new requirements in electrical/electronics development if software evolves into the dominant driver of innovation and brand differentiation.
Software Drives 2030 was the result of partnerships with key players in industry and research.
What capabilities do suppliers need to cope with digital transformation in the automotive industry? This is the central question examined by this report, which was published in the summer of 2017 as part of the Software Drives series.
Digital transformation and networking are now in full swing in automotive industry. Programmes have been introduced to make changes on all fronts, from key digital projects to experiments with service-dominated business models. The shift towards service-driven business models is challenging how entire companies and systems are organised, yet succeeding as a service provider revolves around different principles compared to businesses that merely supply products.
As a result, digital transformation with respect to automobiles is a completely new challenge for the industry. As well as changing technology paradigms, it also changes factors relating to the underlying business logic, models, setups and workflows. This report – based on a management survey looking at ‘Software Drives. Digital Capabilities for Automotive Innovators 2030’ – shows how producers and suppliers will need to reorganise themselves in order to cope with digital transformation.
The first report in the management series on Software Drives. Automotive E/E Development 2030 was published in June 2015. This study was based on 40 interviews with experts working as key decision-makers in the automotive, IT and telecommunications sectors. An online survey was also conducted. The report illustrates how connected software will change the nature of the automotive industry.
The main questions examined in this study revolve around emerging technologies, business models, collaboration, the influence of top executives, life cycles and factors such as speed and cost-effective development.
For example, decision-makers believe they can gain clear competitive advantage by adopting service-based business models. With digital business models, payment flows shift from the point of purchase to the moment of service delivery. As a result, after-markets become main markets. In technological terms, connected layers become an interface with providers involved in value delivery, so they become more important than the traditional ‘big four’ (vehicle body, electronics, chassis and drive). In addition, existing systems are continually being overhauled and therefore supersede the current focus on start of production (SOP), model refinements and end of production (EOP).
Previously, it was the manufacturers who held responsibility for ongoing vehicle developments. Will that still be case in the future or are we about to witness a paradigm shift? In the future, an essential share of customer benefit will be delivered through services. Conventional mobility needs will merge with web-based services and form integrated offerings based on new business models. We have examined the impacts this transformation will have on electrical/electronics organisations.