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Build Versus Buy: Reevaluating the Biggest Threat to Commercial Software Vendors

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This document is part of an annual subscription of FASTForward™ publications produced by VDC's Embedded Software & Tools Practice. Our FASTForward™ reports provide technology executives with unique research-based, expert-driven insights into critical technology market trends that are likely to have significant business implications for market leaders.

Summary

  • Today's Engineering Challenges are Driving OEM5 to Revisit the Build vs. Buy Analysis. OEMs have traditionally assessed the costs and benefits associated with the procurement of commercial products relative to developing and maintaining their own solutions. The amount and sophistication of software functionality required by today's embedded systems, however, is challenging the efficacy of incumbent solutions and is increasing the rate at which OEMs reevaluate OS and tool changes.
  • The Market's Migration to Commercial OSs is Accelerating. Growing complexity in software functionality requirements are driving more OEMs to abandon antiquated in-house OS platforms in favor of commercial offerings. However, engineering teams' comfort with their existing solutions remains a significant inhibitor to migration.
  • The Commercial Value of Traditional Software Development Tools has Been Marginalized. Traditional software development tools such as IDEs, compilers, and debuggers have been commoditized over recent years due to the continued maturation of open source alternatives. While these tools are still important to the development process, we believe that lifecycle management tools that offer higher levels of engineering task automation will garner an increasing share of development tool budgets going forward.
  • Industry Specific Requirements & Incumbent Processes are Impacting Commercial Solution Selection. The heterogeneity of system requirements across the various embedded vertical markets fueled the evolution of a number of industry-specific solutions and development processes. Although a keen understanding of vertical-specific requirements will remain critical to vendor selection, broad engineering challenges that span many verticals are increasing the appeal of commercial solutions originally developed for specific markets.

Heads Up!

Although the growing complexity of embedded system design is causing more OEMs to migrate away from in-house solutions, OEMs are being presented with a broadening list of capable alternatives. Given this migration and the continued commoditization of traditional runtime components and tools, commercial product vendors can work to differentiate themselves through investments in their professional service and support offerings or enhanced integrations with new tool technology, The extension of product portfolios to address growing industry trends such as M2M connectivity and security will also become increasingly important.

COMPANIES CITED IN FULL REPORT

  • Apple
  • Atego
  • BMW
  • Bosch
  • Cisco
  • Continental
  • Dassault Systemes
  • Digi International
  • dSPACE
  • Esterel Technologies
  • ETAS
  • Express Logic
  • General Motors
  • Google
  • Green Hills Software
  • HP
  • IBM
  • Kaspersky Lab
  • Lauterbach
  • McAfee
  • MathWorks
  • Microsoft
  • Monta Vista Software
  • Omondo
  • PTC
  • QNX Software Systems
  • Research In Motion
  • Samsung
  • Siemens
  • Sparx Systems
  • Symantec
  • Vector Informatik
  • Viosoft
  • Wind River

Table of Contents

  • The Current Situation
  • Future Implications
    • Impact on OS Selection
    • Impact on Tool Selection Implication for Commercial Product Vendors in:
      • Automotive
      • Consumer Electronics
      • Mobile Phones
      • Military/Aerospace
  • Recommendations
  • Additional Research
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