Embedded software is the lynchpin of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), a remarkably robust technology infrastructure of digitally connected devices, objects and machines which could be contributing more than US$10 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
The IIoT’s vast and self-sustaining infrastructure heralds new revenue streams for automotive and industrial equipment manufacturers and measurably better outcomes for their customers.
The workhorses of the IIoT—the multitude of intelligent systems and devices that labor at the system’s edges, gathering and aggregating data—are all dependent on embedded software. It drives the connectivity and intelligence that helps companies develop new products and new opportunities, while maintaining existing demands.
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When Accenture recently surveyed more than 1,400 global business leaders, 84 percent said they could create new income streams from the IIoT. Yet 73 percent still hadn’t made concrete plans to do so, and only seven percent had developed a comprehensive strategy backed by matching investments.
Plenty, however, have now embarked on the IIoT journey. And growing numbers recognize that embedded software is key to unlocking its value. Embedded software is changing not only perceptions of what industrial products and services are, but also how they are developed. By connecting devices continuously and in real time, and by enabling new functionalities, it provides the foundation of all that the IIoT promises to deliver.
The journey to IIoT maturity is incremental. Our findings show that embedded software plays a vital role at every stage:
Embedded software enables the connected and intelligent applications, machines, products and people that sustain a more operationally efficient enterprise.
It provides the foundation for the entirely new functionalities and business models that can fuel innovation and faster time to market.
Embedded software enables fully automated manufacturing by facilitating a real-time supply chain.
It helps manufacturers build a flexible enterprise ecosystem, share risk, and create the integrated, cross-industry product and service bundles that deliver the outcomes customers seek.
Embedded software drives the connectivity and intelligence that characterizes the IIoT. By optimizing operations it helps open up more customer touch points, thus driving incremental revenues. Manufacturers can leverage its power to build new business models. The integrated, cross-industry product and service bundles that it enables help deliver better customer outcomes. And by supporting a fully automated enterprise embedded software eases skills shortages and enhances safety.
Automotive and industrial equipment manufacturers embarking on the IIoT journey recognize that without embedded software, and the engineering know-how that sustains it, they wouldn’t pass “go.”