The benefits of enhanced integration and collaboration between different engineering disciplines are undeniable. A cross-domain integration approach is becoming more important and beneficial as products become more complex. To ensure that products function properly, it is imperative that developers understand how the software, electrical, and mechanical components work together. Using cross-domain integration, product developers are more efficient while also addressing the concerns of both managers and end users, helping ensure that the product is the best it can be.
In VDC’s 2013 Software and System Development Survey, 45% of the respondents indicate the biggest advantage of cross-domain integration is an improved overall design, followed by improvement in the overall product management at 38%. Increased communication and collaboration among different engineering disciplines leads to organizations better connecting the separate silos of knowledge from each domain. This leads to better coordination of the software, electrical, and mechanical components, as well as a greater awareness of the impact changes in one domain will have in another. As a result, organizations are able to see improved product quality and less product failure. Another main advantage is improved traceability (35%), which is becoming more prominent as the number of process standards increases in industries such as automotive and medical.
Despite the benefits and increasing use of cross-domain integration, universal adoption is not right around the corner. Overcoming companies’ current organizational structures is extremely challenging. Many organizations have been working in separated engineering teams for years, with each team having formed distinct policies and procedures. However, the possibility of greater engineering synergies and improved product quality is enough for most organizations to realize the potentials of cross-domain integration.
By Sarah Foreman
Research Assistant, M2M & Embedded Technology