PTC and Tech-Clarity Unveil New Research on Developing Software-Intensive Products

Study shows how PLM and product-centric ALM can enable manufacturers to take advantage of a software-intensive product strategy without suffering from inherent complexity

NEEDHAM, Mass. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — February 14, 2012PTC® (Nasdaq: PMTC) announced today the findings of new research from Tech-Clarity, an independent research and consulting firm. The study, Developing Software-Intensive Products, showed that the majority of respondents significantly increased the amount of software, the importance of software and the innovation driven by software in their products over the last five years with nearly seventy five percent of the respondents planning to increase these efforts further over the next five years.

The survey uncovers specific reasons why companies are increasing the use of software in their products: three-quarters indicate they use software in their products to improve product capabilities, two-thirds say they are seeking ‘smarter’ and more innovative products, and one-half say they use software to tailor products to customers or markets. The top reasons companies are pursuing software-intensive products are competitive factors that drive the top line.

“This survey indicates a noteworthy trend in that companies have significantly increased the use of software in their products across all manufacturing industries, in both large and small companies,” said Jim Brown, president, Tech-Clarity. “The biggest increases in both the amount of software and the level of innovation driven by that software were found in automotive and high-tech industries. Another interesting discovery was that medical device manufacturers have increased the ratio of software engineers more than others, and 92% of the respondents in that industry say they plan to further increase software in their products over the next five years.”

The survey also uncovered significant challenges and negative business impacts resulting from product complexity. For example, over one-half of the companies surveyed indicate they experience product quality issues when developing software-intensive products. In addition, survey respondents also reported delayed time to market, negative impacts of rework and high product development costs, and poor software development efficiency. These findings were consistent across all size manufacturers.

Through its findings, the survey identified that companies with the following characteristics reported fewer significant, negative impacts when engineering products that include electrical, mechanical and software components when they:

  • Had a unified or integrated team structure to develop products with electrical, mechanical and software components
  • Made use of systems modeling techniques to get systems architecture right at beginning of development
  • Made use of combined PLM and product-centric ALM initiatives for an integrated solution approach to designing software-intensive products

“The use of software is exploding inside our customer’s products and is becoming the competitive differentiator in new product development,” said Matthew Klassen, director ALM solution marketing, PTC. “PTC’s priority is to enable our customers to manage the complexity of developing software-intensive products, helping them improve product development efficiency to deliver more new products to market. This continues to be a big opportunity for our customers and for PTC.”

Integrity, PTC’s software systems lifecycle management solution, manages all software system development processes and connects all software engineering artifacts, including requirements, models, code, and test, ensuring comprehensive lifecycle traceability. Integrity's open architecture integrates disparate tools into a streamlined software system engineering process, allowing orchestration of software change and collaboration across the technology supply chain. With Integrity, development teams improve productivity and quality, streamline compliance and gain complete product visibility, which ultimately drives more innovative products into the market.

The full report, Tech-Clarity Perspective: Developing Software-Intensive Products, can be found here and provides answers to these questions:

  • What are the reasons behind the trend toward more product software?
  • What are the top product strategies driving software use in products by industry?
  • What are the challenges and the resulting business impacts?
  • What can manufacturers do to organize for success? Does taking a systems view help?
  • What are the benefits of enabling software to design software intensive products?

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