Analysis of the software ecosystem in the Automotive industry

University essay from KTH/Industriell produktion; KTH/Industriell produktion

Abstract: Due to Industry 4.0 (I4.0) the software ecosystem is constantly changing, and new possibilities and challenges are arising. The purpose of this Master Thesis is to map the software ecosystem in the automotive industry in order to understand the position of Atlas Copco and what gaps an industrial tool supplier can close. In addition, find out what opportunities and challenges that exist in the ecosystem today. Since Industry 4.0 and the software ecosystem are relatively new topics and alters continuously, the study was carried out in an abductive approach and a research design model was created according to that. By combining literature study with empirical study such as interviews, a better understanding was gained which laid the foundation of accumulating a deeper knowledge about the research field and made it feasible to answer the research questions. The current structure in different markets of the software ecosystem are shaped according to an old industry standard for modelling system structures. Differences and similarities between the markets can be found, which explains difficulties in providing software globally. By analysing and combining the current structures for each market, including the answers gained from the conducted interviews, a model was created. A new model for the definition of a software ecosystem in the automotive industry was the result. Additionally, a new way of structuring and visualizing the generic structure of the software ecosystem for Atlas Copco in the Automotive industry was presented as well. The latter model could be used as a tool, that enables a better understanding of the software ecosystem as well as a way to present new solutions to customers. In the ecosystem Atlas Copco takes the role as a premium industrial tool supplier and a provider of software used to configure and monitor quality and errors in the assembly processes. Hence, they broaden their market to become a software supplier. However, thanks to I4.0 technologies, there are potential areas in the production where it is possible for Atlas Copco to extend their establishment further to get more market shares of the software market as well as to provide more value to their customers. Although, the recommendation for Atlas Copco is to shape a reference architecture and focus on software close to the operations of industrial equipment.

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