Software development in industry is lagging behind

I was watching a tv program on the distinction between fake and real. They covered the use of digital technologies to replicate art, or even create 3d animations about news or other realities. It made me think about system and software development in the embedded systems industry. Why are we developing the most advanced MR and CT scanners, the most advanced and intelligent lighting systems, the most advanced chip production or the most advanced printers, car navigation, coffee making machines, or even the most advanced airplanes, but still do it with technology from the previous century? Why are we applying the methods and the technology from the 1990ies to make products of today?
I often have a very hard time convincing my management to use digital technologies that is currently applies in companies like Google, Microsoft and even big blue IBM, and not only management. Also software and systems engineers find it often hard to accept collaboration technologies that is very common in our private lives and apply it in their professional life.
Why are so many people still reluctant to adopt agile methodologies, internet technologies like RESTful interfaces, or even collaboration technologies that commonly apply APIs supported by Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, eBay or in products like smartphones and tables? Why are we using non-integrated software and system engineering and project management tools? Why waste so much effort on ignoring or customizing the functions of these tools, why waste effort on integrating these tools if there are integrated solutions available?
Apparently, wasting thousands of manhours is cheaper than spending a few thousand on improving the effectivity of the professionals. I just don’t understand how this is economical viable. Apparently, still too much money is payed for these systems that we can afford the waste in the innovation industry. Apparently is the competition also sleeping, wasting there time by using outdated technology. Apparently, customers have no alternative but to accept that we waste so much time and effort. Apparently, it is still profitable to waste precious innovation effort. Apparently, the large companies are still powerful enough to overpower the more advanced entrepreneurs. But for how long? When will we wake up that high tech innovation in large industry companies is seriously outdated?


About Frank Schophuizen (fschop)

Hi, my name is Frank Schophuizen and I am working as a consultant in CM, Agile and ALM for TOPIC Embedded Systems. I have over 30 years experience in software development in the technology industry, with the last 15 years mainly in process improvement, deployment and integration of methods and tools in the area of CM, Agile development and ALM. I am strongly interested in the complexities of collaboration and integrations in multi-project and multi-site organizations. I have worked with various technology companies such as Philips, ASML, NXP and Vanderlande, and with various tool vendors such as IBM Rational (e.g. ClearCase, Synergy, Jazz products) as well as open source tools (e.g. SVN, Git, Jenkins, Trac, Eclipse). I am living in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, with my wife. We have 3 adult children. My main hobbies are classical music and photography.
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