3 Key Benefits of Integrated Hardware and Software Teams for IoT
Once you have the hardware and software teams working together instead of in separate silos, what are the main benefits that you can expect from this integration?
Bringing together the hardware and software teams is especially valuable when you’re developing a new IoT system: the hardware hasn’t been validated, and you might not have any baseline to be working with.
In the world of embedded systems, it’s very difficult to decouple hardware and firmware on a low level. For example, if your low-level drivers aren’t working, then neither will the circuit board. Having people with both hardware and software expertise can drastically speed up the initial process of development and debugging.
2. Diversity of opinion
Without a diverse array of people and opinions contributing to the project, it’s easy to get “tunnel vision” during development. Engineers, designers, developers, testers, and managers should all be able to give their input. In particular, including perspectives from both hardware and software design will help ensure that the final product represents the best efforts of everyone at the company.
3. Product quality
By integrating IoT hardware and software development, your final product is more likely to be higher quality. Combining the two teams’ efforts not only reduces project timelines and costs, it also makes it easier to release upgrades with faster development and feedback loops.
4 Ways to Integrate Hardware and Software Teams
In this section, we’ll discuss a few best practices for how you can close the gap between your hardware and software teams for IoT development.
1. Open communication channels
Enabling clear, honest, open communication is the best way to break down business silos and get both the hardware and software teams collaborating throughout the project. This is especially important after the hardware phase of the project is complete, and the role of the hardware team switches to supporting the firmware and software development.
2. Designated project manager
When multiple teams with different goals and visions come together, there will inevitably be disagreements about the right way to do things. Make sure that you designate a project manager who can serve as a liaison between hardware and software and mediate any issues that arise.
3. Collaboration and project management tools
Collaboration tools like Slack are especially helpful for distributed workforces like we have here at Very. To improve cross-team visibility, you should also be able to track both teams’ activities and tasks in project management software such as Jira, Trello, or Pivotal Tracker.
4. Version control
Version control systems like Git are invaluable for backing up and sharing codebases. Make sure that you have a way to specify which versions of the hardware are compatible with which versions of the firmware, so that you don’t waste your time tracking down an outdated bug or working with the wrong file.
Successful Team Integration
Integrating your hardware and software teams won’t happen overnight—it requires an active, well-intentioned initiative to reorient the way that you approach IoT development. Still, the benefits of doing so are more than enough to justify the effort.
Want to learn more about how we do IoT development here at Very? Check out our complete guide to IoT development, or reach out to a member of our team.