Friday, July 28, 2006

Device Software Optimization – Does the Message Resonate with Developers?

Device Software Optimization (DSO) is a term coined and championed by Wind River Systems. DSO is the result of evolving vendor market strategies to meet the ever-changing technology landscape and the needs of developers. It represents a way to communicate their recognition of the complexity of device software development through the availability of broader sets of commercial-off-the-shelf software platforms.

Vendors have spent a significant amount of time and resources in defining and executing on their DSO strategy. Therefore VDC was interested in understanding in year two of DSO the depth and breath to which the message has connected with embedded software manufacturers.

Recently published research by Venture Development Corporation (VDC) indicates that slightly more than 41% of embedded developer survey respondents have at least heard of the term “Device Software Optimization.” However, of these, only about 12% believe they understand the underlying message.

According to Steve Balacco, Senior Analyst of VDC’s Embedded Software Practice, “In year two of DSO we find a mixed understanding for the DSO message within embedded system manufacturers (ESMs). Adding to the confusion by the developer community may be that vendors seem to have slightly different takes on just what is meant by their use of the acronym ‘DSO’ as a means to communicate strategic product and service offerings.”

DSO seeks a comprehensive approach to maximize the benefits and mitigate the downside of various trends within the development process. The compelling message is to empower developers through optimized, integrated solutions or platforms to enable product innovation, accelerate development, manage costs, and minimize risk. As such, vendors become strategic and trusted suppliers of end-to-end solutions.

According to Balacco, “Perhaps this idea of DSO as its own market provides the most confusion for developers and market participants. It may be that changing the mind-sets within these organizations will prove more difficult to achieve than expected and/or that impact has not been sufficiently quantified with respect to ROI and total cost of development.”

From VDC’s perspective, vendors need to inwardly examine their strategies and refine and focus the message so that ESMs can relate to and evaluate the benefits of investing in integrated commercial off-the-shelf software platforms.