Industrial companies can’t afford to fall behind on software 

Historically, auto industry innovation moves slowly – conventional automakers favor measured, gradual improvements to vehicles over make-or-break gambles. But as the industry shifts towards software-defined vehicles (SDVs), falling behind on software becomes the riskiest bet.  

A WardsAuto survey published late last year found that most industry observers expect SDVs to make up more than 50% of new vehicles sold by 2030. For automakers who have begun to explore software capabilities in the past few years, this is a tight timetable.  

To stay competitive in the SDV era, automakers must be proactive. By staying ahead of the software curve, automakers will be better able to attract and retain software development talent and position themselves for sustained success in the future as we move closer to 2030. 

Attracting talent 

So far, automakers have struggled to poach and keep top software talent from Silicon Valley. Part of this challenge is due to a reluctance to shell out the high salaries required to recruit the best, but the other side of the equation has been workplace culture.  

Software has long been considered an add-on by traditional automakers, overlooking its full potential. As a result, software developers’ contributions have been similarly overlooked. Top software developers are reluctant to take their talents to a company that does not prioritize their work. OEMs must demonstrate to prospective employees that they are committed to transitioning to SDVs and that they recognize and value the crucial role developers play in achieving this goal. 

When it comes to salaries, automakers need to change their mindset. During a recent interview with Autoline, CEO of Envorso Scott Tobin stated, “one top-notch software developer is often more effective than 10 average software developers.” By getting this caliber of talent into the building, automakers position themselves to be an industry leader in the shift to SDVs.  

Getting ahead of the curve 

Being an early adopter of the SDV will pay dividends down the road. New entrants like Tesla and Lucid Motors are already reaping the benefits of a strong focus on SDV manufacturing.  

In April, Envorso Vice President of Engineering Excellence Steve Tengler spoke on an SAE World Congress panel about the challenges and opportunities surrounding software-defined vehicles. During the panel, Tengler talked about how startup automakers have an advantage over traditional OEMs in the transition to SDVs. New entrants are essentially starting from a “clean slate,” while established automakers must adapt their conventional processes to fit today’s software-focused demands.  

Although the transition to SDVs is an uphill battle for traditional OEMs, the hill will only get steeper the longer OEMs prolong this transition. By ripping off the band-aid rather than peeling it away, these automakers can begin to align their operations with SDVs and position themselves for success as the rest of the industry catches up.  

Having experience on both sides of the software-automotive equation, Envorso knows that making this transition is no small feat for traditional automakers. It requires a bold, proactive leap forward and a departure from time-tested conventional manufacturing processes. But the sooner this transition is underway, the sooner automakers can benefit from and be leaders in the industry’s software-centric trajectory.  

Contact us today to learn how Envorso can help your organization stay at the head of the pack.  

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