System Architecture Design, Specification Causing Failures

A recently released study from VDC Research reveals that failures in system architecture design and specification may, in many cases, be the underlying causes of failures in software engineering and system integration. VDC’s survey of embedded engineers (based on a mix of various project types including hardware, software, and system designs) suggests that system integration, along with firmware and application development/test, are typically key areas of delay among late projects. Meanwhile, project management/planning and system architecture design and specification are most commonly cited as significant contributors to project delay.

embedded projects delays - VDC

A closer investigation of this data reveals that among those projects experiencing delays in firmware design, 48% reported system architecture design and specification as a cause of project delay, and among those projects experiencing delays in application/middleware engineering, 47% reported system architecture design and specification as a cause of project delay. With software engineers, hardware engineers, and system architects on average reporting that they spend approximately a quarter to a third of their time on firmware engineering tasks, these findings suggest that failures in system architecture design and specification could be having significant impact on time-to-market.

VDC believes that the growing sophistication of software requirements is likely to play an increasingly greater role in driving the advancement of the system-level engineering management and architectural decision-making practices. “The realization that efficient design and test of advanced hardware and systems can no longer be accomplished without common approaches and greater development visibility across the system engineering process is impacting the vendor community,” says Matt Volckmann, Program Manager with VDC Research’s Embedded Software Practice. “VDC expects market participants to place increasing focus and effort on enabling effective software development/test throughout the system engineering process as a result of the expanding importance of software across all types of embedded system engineering disciplines.”

VDC explores these and other critical issues within the embedded systems market within the recently released report, Volume 2: Virtual System Prototyping/Simulation Tools for Software Development and Verification, from Track 2 of VDC’s 2008 Embedded Software Market Intelligence Service. In addition to an analysis of the supplier market opportunity, this report also includes in-depth analysis of findings from VDC’s 2008 Embedded System Engineering Survey providing key statistics on engineering demographics, trends, and project characteristics.

About VDC Research Group
VDC Research Group (VDC) is a technology market research and strategy consulting firm that advises clients in a number of technology markets including: Automatic Identification and Data Collection, Embedded Hardware and Systems, Embedded Software and Tools, Industrial Automation and Control, Mobile and Wireless, and Power Conversion and Control. Using rigorous primary research and analysis techniques, the firm helps its clients identify, plan for, and capitalize on current and emerging market opportunities. We strive to deliver exceptional value to our clients by leveraging the considerable technical, operational, educational and professional experience of our research and consulting staff. During our nearly four decades of ongoing operation, we have had the pleasure of serving most of the world’s leading technology companies, many high-profile start-ups, and numerous blue-chip early and later stage investors. Our products and services consist of research reports, annual research programs, and custom research and consulting services. Founded in 1971, the firm is located in the Boston area. Please visit our Web site at to learn more.