Alex Smoker, Associate Partner at Miramar Global, discusses the current landscape for OEMs and Tier One suppliers within the automotive and software industry.
Many OEMs are aiming to bring their software and system development in-house, which is proving to be the right approach. It is however important for traditional organisations to introduce an appropriate technology mindset with their software DNA from day one, otherwise they may face time consuming cultural transformations. Organisations who are bringing solutions in-house are having to work harder and faster than key players within the market in order to succeed.
Challenges facing the automotive space and how they be addressed
OEMs who are still working with Tier One suppliers often share code, or they’ll have a share code provider or IP provided. This presents issues regarding ownership of the code and could make relationships between Tier Ones and their buyers increasingly more difficult. Collaborations and transparent communication are the key to this success. Industries will have to come up with smart APIs together with the driver and occupant monitoring systems to progress at faster velocity than the market leaders.
As the sector is witnessing a lot of change this needs to be led by top level management. They need to support their organisation to enter the new software paradigm so they can develop technology which directly connects to every customer and builds up this connection. They also need to future proof their organisation by reducing focus on the fields which are not going to be important. This is a huge transformation as these organisations often have thousands of members of staff working in R&D and software development vs. the competition of electronic vehicle organisations who tend to have a much more streamlined staffing approach. If they don’t make the change they could get left behind their rivals in the race for future mobility.
Advice for those looking to progress within this sector
For managers looking to progress in the sector; to compete within the fast-moving technology market, you cannot survive by having a hierarchical management style. The industry is now reaping the benefits of change as it recognised the importance of bottom up and multi-level collaboration and the empowerment given to colleagues to collaborate to innovate. Everything centres around teamwork.
With technology fast advancing, those operating under this business area often experience challenges surrounding how they can introduce new ideas, continuously update products, and collaborate with the wider business. To rise against these challenges, it’s important to embrace the continuous learning journey as this enables you to build upon what you already know and react easily to change. This will stand you in good stead to succeed in an agile environment and create innovation which delivers positive results ahead of the competition. It’s also important to have a keen entrepreneurial interest and a passion to drive things even further, this is what will drive growth within the sector.