The benefits of embedded software are manifold and difficult to overstate in today’s world. This type of software is very convenient for mass production due to its compactness and portability. Embedded systems are indispensable when there is the need for automating monotonous processes and achieving certain efficiency levels. They are easily upgradable and do not require much human intervention, which makes them the best bet for both big companies and mid-sized enterprises. That being said, there are some considerable challenges and bottlenecks that may interfere with the further development and mass implementation of embedded systems. In today’s article, we’re going to take a closer look at the embedded software development services and try to identify the main barriers that prevent this market from growing further.
What is Embedded Software Development?
In essence, embedded software development is the process during which a dedicated computer system exercises control over third-party non-computer devices so that they can properly perform their designated functions.
According to Global Market Insights, 2020 saw a considerable surge in embedded software’s popularity. To be precise, the embedded software market reached a record $13.5 billion and is poised to grow even further in the foreseeable future. The driving force behind its success is the growing demand for wearable devices and automotive solutions. Embedded systems are highly popular in such industries as aviation, automotive, medical science, computer electronics, etc. The process of developing quality embedded systems is quite laborious, time-intensive, and costly, as it relies on a wide range of programming tools, operating systems, and microprocessors. It’s also important that a specific embedded system be fitted to the needs of the non-computer devices it’s designed to control.
There are also other factors that complicate the embedded software engineering process and get in the way of this industry’s growth. Let’s review some of them.
Any industry knows how difficult it is to keep up with the constantly changing market demands. Not so long ago, that wasn’t the case for the embedded software engineering market, since they relied on the same tools and techs, irrespective of market trends. Still, now the embedded software developers start tapping into more promising technologies like machine learning, IoT, low power design, cloud connectivity, and more. Thus, a while ago, many “traditional” embedded systems were disconnected from the Internet. With the big push for the IoT, embedded systems are now leveraging wireless or wired connectivity and streaming loads of data up to the cloud for processing and storage. Needless to say, such market changes necessitate the need for new talents capable of meeting these changes.
Lack of Talent
The problem is that lots of companies now experience a shortage of embedded software developers that can tap into the potential of the latest technologies and create solutions that can help maximize their business opportunities. The number of available professionals merely cannot satisfy the growing market appetites. Still, outsourcing required skills can be a great solution. Currently, lots of companies, including famous giants like Google, Netflix, and Amazon, successfully outsource IT services to save costs and speed up the development process.
One of the major concerns for embedded software developers is security. Now that almost each and every piece of software is connected to the Internet, it becomes more difficult to safeguard sensitive information and prevent data leaks from happening. Therefore, it’s critical that your embedded software engineers craft substantial updates and regularly roll out some minor patches to prevent the slightest chance of attack, unauthorized data transmission, etc. Your vendors also must employ other security measures like security certificates, message-passing protocols, and point-to-the-point encryptions.
Modern technologies like security processors, and multicore microcontrollers, and Arm TrustZone can also go a long way towards helping companies create more secure code and thus protect their solutions. And many more are on their way. So, be sure to keep up.
These challenges shouldn’t scare you or make you want to hold off on designing and implementing effective embedded software solutions. If you enlist the help of professional developers, chances are you’ll manage to get the most out of the new techs and succeed in taking your business to the next level.