Outsourcing Embedded Software Development: How Not to Fail While Choosing a Service Provider?

Embedded system development is the creation of software that performs one or more dedicated functions while being part of a larger, more complex system. It is designed to perform specific tasks and often must operate in real time. This is a tricky and demanding process that requires a team of experts to complete successfully.

When outsourcing embedded development for your project, you can easily get into all sorts of trouble. Finding a talented, competent and experienced software company can seem impossible in today’s crowded tech market. So how should you choose a team of engineers that will ensure a successful result? There are a few tips you should follow to avoid common mistakes when hiring a company. However, let’s first find out the benefits of deploying embedded systems.

The Reasons for Embedded Software Outsourcing

If you are planning to build an embedded system, consider hiring an external team for your next project. Doing so can save companies time, money and other resources that could be used to develop newer products more effectively. There are a few main reasons for embedded software development outsourcing you should consider. Let’s discuss them one by one.

embedded software

  • No In-House Development Team

If you are a startup or small business and do not have an in-house development team, hiring a company that has years of embedded software experience can be a smart decision. You can focus on your core business tasks and processes instead of dealing with the technical details of complicated systems.

  • Limited Budget

This type of employment can help companies reduce costs by shifting focus from non-core activities like embedded systems development to more profitable ones. In addition, since most outsourced firms are located in countries with lower labor rates, they can offer better terms and estimation than local firms, which may have overhead prices due to higher rent and wage costs or other business expenses like health benefits, etc.

  • The Need of Secure Embedded Software

Embedded software development can be very complex and there is always the possibility of bugs or other issues with the code. When you choose to hire an offshore team, they have access to a number of tools that allow them to thoroughly test the code before releasing it to production. This means that there will be fewer errors or bugs that could cause problems for your customers or clients if they are not fixed immediately after release.

  • The Ability to Scale Up and Down Resources

Outsourcing embedded development allows companies to grow their workforce when they have an external team working on projects without hassle. Thus, their internal teams can focus on other important tasks and projects, instead of hiring a full-time employee whose salary must be paid even when there is no work for them to do. 

  • Faster Time to Market

In the age of time-to-market pressure, development teams no longer have time to spend on internal activities that are not directly related to the product or service. When you outsource embedded solutions, you get access to a team of experts who know how to streamline the process and ensure the product meets all regulatory requirements and other industry standards.

What Is So Challenging about Embedded Software Outsourcing?

The development process is often challenging, especially when it comes to outsourcing. In most cases, the main reason is that a company does not have control over the people who develop its systems. Here are some of the most common challenges businesses face when outsourcing embedded software engineering.

embedded software

Challenge #1: Knowledge Transfer

The challenge is to make sure your service provider understands your needs and time limits to complete the project within budget. This is especially important if you work on an urgent basis or if you need to complete your project by a certain date or within a specific time frame.

Challenge #2: Communication

Remote team collaboration requires time and effort on both sides. Therefore, it is important that each party has good communication skills (both verbal and written). If you work with an offshore team, you may need to find a way to communicate effectively despite the language or cultural background. As a rule, however, embedded software developers from non-English speaking countries have a high level of command of the English language, so they can easily communicate with native clients.

Challenge #3: The Right Experience

It is not easy to find a trustworthy service provider with enough experience and talent to handle your project. You should make sure that a company has a lot of successful cases working with businesses like yours, so they can get a good idea of your requirements before they even start the process. The system must be developed according to your specifications so that there is no room for error.

Challenge #4: Finding Reliable Software Vendor

When looking for a suitable embedded software company, make sure that they can complete projects within a certain time frame and deliver what they promise. If it’s willing to provide you with all documentation related to your project and keep you informed of updates, that is a good sign. This shows that the company takes each project seriously and is responsible and organized enough to end up with a robust embedded system.

Challenge #5: Time Zone Differences

If you outsource your project to another country, there is a time difference between the two locations. This can cause problems when you need an immediate response from a team. However, you can avoid most of the inconvenience by scheduling meetings during work hours or using messaging tools like Slack, Skype or Google Hangouts that allow real-time conversations.

Common Mistakes Companies Make While Outsourcing Embedded Software Development Services 

Outsourcing embedded technology is a great way to get your product to market faster. The problem is that many companies make mistakes when they outsource their systems’ development. Here are the most common mistakes that prevent companies from getting the most out of their outsourcing efforts:

Not Knowing What You Want to Get

It is important to know exactly what kind of system you are building, how it should look and feel like, how it should be used, what features it should have, etc. Also, make sure your outsourced team understands that vision as well as possible. It’s easier for developers to work with a concrete product description than just an idea or a set of requirements.

Not Having Clear Communication

In many cases, communication between parties regarding roles and responsibilities is not clear enough. This is especially true for projects where the customer has limited experience with embedded systems development. For example, if a client does not know how to write requirements or use other documents such as technical specifications or test plans, this can lead to problems in getting the job done correctly. To solve this problem, you should discuss with your outsourced development vendor the most convenient way of communication for both parties.

Not Properly Considering Cultural Differences

When working with an external partner, it’s important to understand their culture and make sure it aligns with your own company’s values and goals. You should also be aware of how different cultures handle things like time management and communication methods (e.g., email vs. phone). This will help you avoid misunderstandings when things do not go according to plan.

Selecting a Partner Based Solely on Cost

The price of software should be considered when choosing an outsourcing partner, but it should not be the only factor you focus on when making a decision. There are many factors that go into choosing a service provider, such as geographic location, technical expertise and cultural fit. In addition, low-cost embedded software solutions may be less likely to meet all of your needs and requirements than higher-priced ones, which may seem more expensive at first, but save money over time by avoiding costly rework. By the way, you can get a free estimate for your future software project with our cost calculator

Not Taking the Time to Choose the Right Service Provider

Many companies rush their selection process without taking the time necessary to find the right vendor for their needs. A solid embedded software development company will work closely with you throughout the project to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Tips on Choosing a Reliable Embedded Development Company

If you decide to entrust the building of your embedded hardware to an outsourcing company, you should do thorough research before hiring a team. We have compiled some of the best tips that will help you find the right vendor for your business so that you end up with reliable, accurate and powerful software.

embedded development

  • Make Sure the Firm Has Successfully Finished Projects in Your Industry

Ask your potential vendor to show you their portfolio to see what kind of software company it is. Cases of your interest are those that are in some way related to your industry or present a similar project to yours. Look at what technologies they use and what niches they have experience with.

  • Ensure the Service Provider Follows the Latest Development Standards

When looking for an embedded software company, make sure it adheres to the latest standards in its field. This is important because it will ensure the service provider develops a product that meets the security requirements. This way, you will be certain that this company will be able to develop sophisticated systems according to your individual needs.

  • Choose the Service Provider with a Long History and Experience

It is always better to choose a company that has been serving its clients for years. You can easily discover its history by asking them directly or looking through its website. This way, you can be sure that you will get quality embedded technology. Before hiring the firm for your project, you should also check its references and feedback from previous clients. 

  • Take a Look at Their Team of Engineers

Take a look at the engineers who work for the embedded software company you are considering. This can tell you a lot about their skills and expertise. So be sure to look at their profiles on LinkedIn and other sites before you decide on hiring them.

  • Check Their Expertise in Product Design and Engineering Software Development

When looking for the right partner, make sure they have extensive knowledge of product design and technical solution creation. The more experience the team members have with the embedded software development process, the easier it will be for them to properly complete your project. Make sure that all team members are sufficiently trained in different areas, e.g. electronics manufacturing processes, firmware design, etc.

  • Establish Clear Goals for Your Project

Before you hire an outsourcing company, you should know what your end goal is. Do you want to build a product or service? Do you want to create better relationships with your customers? Whatever your goals may be, it’s important that they align with those of the embedded development company. That way, you can make sure both sides are on the same page and working toward common goals.

The Bottom Line 

Finding an experienced and reliable embedded development team could prove to be one of the most important keys to your project’s success. A reliable company will never jeopardize the needs of the customer — that is its ultimate goal.

Successful outsourcing is always a gamble of sorts. You can not guarantee that everything will go as planned. But with a little research and preparation, you can significantly reduce the risks. In case you are looking for a reliable embedded software outsourcing company to help you with your current or future projects, contact our knowledgeable team.

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