Software is increasingly business critical to the automotive industry, but OEMs cannot achieve the necessary end to end softwarization without Business Agility. That means adopting Agile approaches right across the organization not just within software development but also for embedded software and even in central functions such as marketing.
Without Business Agility, OEMs will be unable to compete with new market entrants or adapt to a world that is trans-forming rapidly towards customer-centricity, sustainability, and electrification. Nor will they be able to recruit the talent that they need. At worst, an automotive company could become the new Nokia.
However, working with Agile presents special challenges to the industry – for example the need to comply with exacting regulations, and the difficulty of combining an Agile software development process with the more conventional development (and quality control) processes used for hardware. Those challenges become all the greater when Agile methods have to be scaled across the enterprise. The biggest single challenge, however, is probably the industry’s current mindset.
Capgemini recently conducted qualitative and quantitative research into how successfully these challenges are being overcome and what still needs to happen.
Transforming a traditional carmaker with its established structure towards Agile is not done overnight, however it is possible. A four step approach is recommended for piloting Agile, then scaling it horizontally and vertically, and finally achieving true Business Agility.