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Think of an automotive manufacturer and you might picture huge factories, large production lines, robotic assembly, and innumerable mechanical parts. But it’s what lies underneath all these things that’s driving the future of automotive and mobility and the companies behind it: software.

As the mobility industry and its customer needs evolve, automotive companies have been leveraging Microsoft DevOps offerings to break down legacy development silos and build new infrastructure that accelerates teams through new processes and technology. Where development, IT operations, quality engineering, and security teams once functioned as their own entity, the tools and best practices of a DevOps culture create an environment that fosters collaboration and productivity. The results are faster time to market, fewer errors, increased revenue, rapid innovation, higher customer satisfaction, and ultimately a more agile and secure organization that can evolve successfully at scale.

Microsoft customer ZF Friedrichshafen AG, also known as ZF Group, has been ahead of the game in their digital transformation.

“The collaboration with Microsoft will enable us to accelerate software integration and delivery significantly,” shared Dirk Walliser, who leads corporate research and development at ZF. “This is important for our customers who appreciate agile collaboration and need short delivery cadences for software updates. Moreover, software will need to be developed when hardware is not yet available.”

Additionally, ZF Group will benefit from Microsoft Azure DevOps’ enterprise-grade security and open-source interoperability, which are necessary with the unique needs and compliance requirements of the auto industry.

The Ford Motor Company has also been a leader in redefining collaboration and efficiency from the inside out, growing quickly from 100 developers using GitHub to more than 9,000 global employees. The company has developed its own software for many years, but it was often within individual teams. As industry and customer needs evolved, Ford knew it needed a more cohesive way for teams to join forces.

“We had to work in a coherent and collaborative fashion as the product we created grew much more complex,” shared Florian Frischmuth, chief engineer, Architecture and Software Platform at Ford. “A car has hundreds of sensors. They’re not all connected, but to create more features, you need to build on these sensors. You need to work together.”

The shift from automotive manufacturer to provider of software-driven mobility solutions has been both organic and necessary. In the next decade, it’s predicted that 100 percent of new vehicles will be connected, and at least 10 to 15 percent of those will be fully autonomous.1 To differentiate from the competition and be future-proof, investment in digital capabilities is critical to empowering development and operations teams to optimize collaboration across automation, testing, monitoring, and continuous delivery using agile methods.

Microsoft Azure DevOps and GitHub can help auto manufacturers stay on time, on scope, and on budget with an enterprise-proven foundation; for automakers, it’s the roadmap they need to future-proof their business.

1McKinsey; Accenture; Microsoft analysis