The development of increasingly complex products is becoming more challenging. Think about companies in the automotive, medical device or aerospace and defense industries, for example. Not only is it difficult to staff highly technical teams, but increasing compliance and regulatory oversight, additional safety concerns, shrinking product lifecycles, and growing reliance on software for product differentiation add to the complexity.

Today’s complex product and software development teams also rely on expanding partner and supplier ecosystems. Navigating and allowing for the coexistence of different work cultures, development tools – both old and new, and the competitive mandate to leverage all their data for better decision making, market insight, and product quality, compound the engineering challenge.

Some companies have adopted a holistic approach to their development environment. Tools that encompass requirements, test, and workflow management can provide the process and data foundation to help address many of these factors. But for companies that do not adopt a holistic development solution, at a minimum they need to incorporate an open, industry standard service for exchanging data between logical development processes efficiently.

The industry standard service that we see most companies adopting is Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC). IBM has been a long-standing proponent of OSLC, but we wanted an unbiased view on the state of the market, so we engaged with VDC Research Group, Inc. to publish this whitepaper, OSLC – A Driving Force behind Engineering Process Integration.

VDC’s research and resulting paper highlights the advantages of adopting a standard approach for data and workflow integration across your company’s development processes. With inputs from over 700 engineers and product development professions, their market insights are compelling testament to the power of an integrated development lifecycle environment enabled by OSLC.

The IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM) solution provides the best of both worlds – a holistic development environment underpinned by OSLC. However, the premise of digital engineering is to introduce efficiencies and agility into even more engineering practices through the use of digital representations and virtual exploration and validation of complex systems. So, IBM ELM also provides tools for model-based systems engineering, process management, reporting, and engineering data analysis.

The realization of digital engineering relies on all these capabilities with the ability to manage the digital thread across all data sets and domain models. Many data sources need to be integrated and orchestrated into a single lifecycle framework that leverages a trusted source of truth. OSLC is currently the only standards-based way to address this challenge, so the IBM ELM solution leverages the OSLC service for exchanging data. And because OSLC is an open standard, IBM ELM establishes an extensible engineering data foundation open to other applications, regardless of domain modeling languages and tools used.

Digital engineering is all about enabling flexible cross-discipline innovation of complex software-driven intensive systems, from conception to delivery. Based on an open architecture that implements OSLC, IBM ELM advances and extends the power of digital engineering to companies and their increasingly vast ecosystems of partners and suppliers who collaborate to bring higher quality products that address stakeholder needs to market faster at lower cost.

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