How productive would a member of your Finance department be if they spend 2 to 3 hours a day trying to find a spreadsheet? What would you think if you called a member of your Legal team to go over a contract at 9 am, and they said, “Sure, let me just track that down – can I call you at 11:30?”

Unfortunately, this is exactly the situation product engineers and developers of complex products like automotive, aerospace, and medical devices have been struggling against over the last decade or so, driven by the exponential increases in product complexity they’re experiencing.

That increase is mostly a result of the growing software requirements for these products. In 2010, automotive engineers produced vehicles with an estimated 10 million lines of software code onboard. Just six years later, passenger cars and trucks left the factory with 150 million lines of code to support a growing list of sensors, functions, safety features, and infotainment systems.

Two parallel platforms have emerged over the decades to support the highly specific design, development and engineering needs of these products. Software developers rely on Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) software, while hardware development teams use Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) application portfolios.

These separate and distinct platforms work perfectly well for independent software vendors that are writing applications for devices, PCs, and data centers. They also work perfectly well for physical goods with little to no reliance on software.

But problems arise when you need to develop today’s complex, hardware-based and sensor-laden machines that depend entirely on up to a billion lines of code in order to function properly, which is what fully autonomous vehicles are expected to require in the near future.

These products require complete and total harmony and synergy in order to function, and the leading ALM and PLM platforms… simply weren’t built with that in mind.

Instead of helping engineers and developers be as efficient as they can be, the separate ALM and PLM siloed structure is having the opposite effect: it’s forcing teams to waste a lot of time – 1 of every 3 hours, according to one study – hunting all over the organization for the right data they need to do their jobs, lust like in the examples above.
There’s no way an engineering team can continue to deliver innovative, high-quality products to market quickly and for low development costs under those conditions.

In order to create modern, fully integrated products, development teams need modern, fully integrated development platforms.

Pulling the digital thread to unlock up to 33% gains in productivity – and more

In order to unlock the full potential of product developers and the products they create, they need a platform that can instantly deliver “a single version of the truth” from anywhere across the entire, distributed collaborative enterprise – a concept also known as “digital thread”.

Product engineers and developers that can use their tool of choice and rely on the organization’s digital thread capabilities to immediately deliver the correct, complete and current data they need can save 2-3 hours a day – per team member, every day.

That’s a 33% increase in productivity, delivered immediately, at a time when non-farm business productivity has increased just 11.1% over the last ten years.

Organizations that have fully integrated their ALM, PLM and related platforms are not only driving sustainable benefits in productivity but delivering the correct, current and complete data is boosting other critical product development metrics as well, including:

  1. Reducing the cost of defects by 60%
  2. Reduce design time by 30%
  3. Reducing the cost of manual reviews by 25%
  4. 9X increase in the early detection rate of design issues
  5. Reducing development costs by 57%
  6. Accelerating time to market by 20%
  7. Reducing the cost of quality by 69%

Integrated products demand integrated product development ecosystems

Industrial organizations are working hard to be as agile, collaborative and digitally native as possible in the face of abrupt, government-mandated lockdowns around the world. Those that have invested in a fully integrated ecosystem that allows hardware and software developers to quickly access the tools and information they need – anywhere and anytime – will be able to maintain the productivity, agility and responsiveness they need to succeed, no matter the situation.

To find out how digital thread can unlock the full potential of your product development teams and deliver breakthrough performance for you and your organization under any circumstances, visit us now.


Bertrand Raillard
Offering Manager, Persistent Integration Platform
Persistent Systems, Ltd.

Bertrand Raillard is responsible for leading the Integration products and services offerings at Persistent Systems, enabling customers to create truly end-to-end digital solutions using their preferred engineering platform.

To accomplish this, Bertrand relies on 25 years of experience in the software industry, with the last two decades focused on supporting a variety of industries and manufacturers of everything from blast furnaces and grain silos to jet fighters and chewing gum.

Bertrand holds a bachelor’s degree from ISTEC, the Institute of Higher Education in Marketing and Commerce in Paris, France.