With respect to the ongoing digitalization and automation in manufacturing, the concept of "Industry 4.0" goes one step further and is often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution. It applies the principles of the IoT to all processes in an industrial environment and is, in accordance with the definition of industry leader IBM, a synonym for a comprehensive networking of production and supply chains within and outside the company. The goal is a complete intelligent networking of all objects in a production environment and the integration of largely autonomous processes; taking place - vertically for the control and monitoring of machines and plants, horizontally within the value chains, as well as along the entire life cycle of products.
More and more devices will communicate with each other and collect more and more data with sensors providing a hitherto unknown extent of data for analysis. The aim is to shorten delivery times and gain even more flexibility in terms of customer requirements.
Embedded systems that control, regulate or supervise technical processes, are thus increasingly becoming a key driver of product innovation. In many industries, product differentiation is based ever more to a large extent on the software components of these systems. However, their complexity and networking as well as the requirements for safety and reliability are constantly increasing. In line with these developments in terms of value share of software in the products, in production and in the supply chains of innovative industries, this will increase significantly. The software development becomes thus even more important and will further change substantiually. In many companies, the development of new core competencies will increase even more (internally or with partners). The lean orchestration of the development work will become ever more important as developement teams will be distributed increasingly around the globe and further coordination with external partners and suppliers will become more strategic and interlaced. The optimized team collaboration will enable more flexible software development, allowing a better control of risks and changes and will help to increase efficiency by correlating important functions with the business strategy.
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