Summer is around the corner. Let’s be honest you are probably researching the best vacation options for those days. If you are an adrenaline junkie, you are probably looking at attraction parks with rollercoasters.
When you are standing in line to board one of those carts, you want the rollercoaster to be safe, reliable, and a lot of fun because you don’t want to think about the technology and the infrastructure during the experience. This is the most effective way in which we can explain user experience and why it is so difficult sometimes to grasp hardware added value in a system.
If the hardware device is working smoothly and running all applications as expected, users do not notice hardware. It is almost like a magic trick: you feel excited and satisfied with the result without noticing all the work that went into the trick itself. Consequently, how can you justify faster, better performance hardware in your application? In this blog post, we are going to discuss some common ways in which you can offer financial or productivity gains by sourcing the appropriate hardware.
Embedded System Architecture
We should begin at the gathering of tech specs. Here is where most mistakes are introduced. Most difficulties arise when your design team is analyzing user needs. Translating the everyday language and expected user experience to specifications can be tricky. Like when a patient is describing symptoms to a doctor. Patients do not usually know the anatomical names or medical terminology. It is up to the doctor to understand what the patient is referring to and translate that into actionable data. A similar process is what the interdisciplinary R&D team needs to follow when gathering tech specs. A company can follow different design methodologies. In this blog post, we describe an efficient way to determine if you are sourcing the appropriate hardware for your application. In fact, you can read more about Embedded System Architectures.
By following a design methodology and leveraging an interdisciplinary R&D team, you will make sure the application requirements, user experience expectations, and financial performance are met since the beginning of the project. In addition, by defining the embedded system architecture, you will be facilitating communication among different departments: engineering, IT, software development, marketing, A-Level executives, shipping, and more.
Bridge Hardware and Software
The main question at the beginning of technological projects is: will my software or app be compatible with this hardware? You will probably receive “It depends” as a regular answer. Although, it is correct to assume that you will probably need to undergo some testing to prove 100% compatibility and functionality, these two tips might help you get a faster, easier answer. First, as stated below, follow a design methodology to be able to accurately gather tech specs of the complete solution, including hardware. At this stage, you don’t need to know the exact hardware you will source. You only need to be sure of the capabilities that hardware will need. Second, find an experienced hardware manufacturer who can translate those capabilities into specific hardware components. This is the most cost-effective and accurate way to guarantee that your software or app will run smoothly. You can read more about how a hardware manufacturer can help you find and develop hardware for your system in this blog post.
Lifecycle Management Services
As humans, sometimes, we don’t value relationships, properties, jobs, or opportunities until they are gone. Unfortunately, in the technology business we typically measure value for the negative consequences companies experience once tools are not working as expected or when there is downtime. For example, in the data center industry, a one-minute failure can cost millions to a bank. If you measure how much money it will cost you to run out of components to build your system, you will probably allocate more budget to lifecycle management services. These services will help you navigate supply chain issues, certification processes, end of life announcements, among many other challenges that come with technology. Therefore, calculate how much money, damage to the company’s reputation, loss of business you will experience if you don’t source the suitable hardware and the appropriate manufacturer.
Along the same lines, remember we said at the beginning that you want the rollercoaster to be reliable and safe? Cybersecurity begins at the physical level of your system, especially if it is installed outside restricted areas where consumers will have access to it. We have a series of blogs on hardware security. You can read them here. Since most cyberattacks aim at stealing information to extort ransom money out of companies, the value of physical security features is only measured when the attack already happened. However, there can be some applications in which human lives are at stake if hacked. Nowadays most hardware includes some security features that you just need to turn on. But if you don’t have the budget to add all security features since the beginning of the project, at least leave some room in the design to add them later. The probability of your company suffering an attack is rising as we increasingly depend on technology for basic operations. In this case, you will also measure hardware security features financial performance in terms of the reduced probability of losing money or lives due to an attack.
As you can see, hardware added value to your system is usually measurable thanks to features that are not easily visible to departments outside the R&D or engineering teams. However, these features can have devastating financial consequences for the company if they are not included. To continue reading about distributed architectures visit this page and to continue reading about Embedded Systems, visit this page.