Embedded Software Outsourcing: Why You Need It And How to Succeed

26 Apr 2024

11 Min




Modern businesses increasingly rely on embedded technology to improve workflows and enhance efficiency. However, dealing with the complexity and evolving tech trends can increase development costs. Consequently, many businesses outsource embedded firmware development to save money while ensuring quality and faster product launches.

As an outsourcing software development company with over 12 years of experience in building embedded solutions, we at Cleveroad are here to tell you how to outsource embedded firmware development, why you may need this option, and how to launch your embedded software with outsourcing partner successfully.

What Is Embedded Development Outsourcing

Outsourcing embedded software development is one of possible collaboration options for building an embedded system. Outsourcing involves cooperating with external companies or development teams to design, develop, and test embedded software while your internal teams focus on your core business activities. This option allows companies to access a wide range of specific expertise that may not be available within the city or even the country of their office.

When working with an embedded software outsourcing company:

  • You are not limited to a specific location for software team hiring
  • You can access hardware and firmware talent worldwide
  • You can find very specialized embedded expertise for your product
  • You can quickly scale your embedded team up and down, getting high flexibility

Embedded systems development is the process of creating specialized software designed to operate embedded systems, devices, and equipment. Embedded solutions integrate directly into a device's hardware components and provide its functionality. Embedded software is used in many fields, including medical devices and equipment, smart home devices, industrial equipment, etc.

Learn more about embedded software development by reading our detailed guide explaining all the key features

Reasons to Outsource Embedded Software Development

Embedded projects outsourcing allows you to build a high-quality solution at a lower costs, but benefits doesn't end here. Let’s examine reasons to select embedded software development outsourcing:

Lack of in-house expertise

Hiring an in-house team can be very time-consuming and expensive if your company lacks embedded software development specialists. In this case, embedded software outsourcing will allow you to access qualified developers without hiring them for your team. Instead, you will get a team of any scale containing the specialists you need, provided by your outsourcing partner.

Fully staffed team to work on your project

Suppose you launch a startup or expand your business by creating a product that requires embedded software. In this case, the project's timeframe limits your cooperation with embedded engineers, so finding and hiring an in-house team is unreasonable. An embedded software outsourcing company will provide you with specialists to work exclusively on your product, allowing you to reduce time to market.

Need for firmware experts

Firmware development is a pretty rare skill, so few companies can boast of having such employees in their staff. You should outsource embedded firmware development if your project needs such a specialist. Outsourcing will allow you access to the necessary firmware expertise without a long search for a suitable employee with required skills.

Budget limitations

One of the biggest benefits of embedded software outsourcing services is its cost-effectiveness. If you want to launch a project with embedded software with limited budget, outsourcing embedded development will be the right option for you. With a wide variety of outsourcing companies, you will be able to find an option that suits you on all factors, including the right expertise and cost-effectiveness.

Security and compliance

Embedded systems risk cyberattacks due to their presence in a wide range of connected devices, from smart homes to industrial equipment, where vulnerabilities can be exploited for intrusions and security breaches. Third-party security analysts will fill the skill gap and help ensure your systems are secure. Moreover, the highly competitive embedded software outsourcing market ensures specialists’ high expertise in security standards. Reliable service providers also help you with industry compliance issues by guiding you through the compliance conditions and providing comprehensive assistance and support for your business automation and success.

Advantages of embedded software outsourcing

Outsourcing embedded development: main benefits

How to Outsource Embedded Software Development

You should know several fundamental rules of outsourcing embedded software development to succeed. Let's explore them in detail:

Partner with experienced software developers

If you want to achieve guaranteed success with your embedded software product, choosing an experienced and skilled embedded IT partner to collaborate with is crucial. Work with a vendor with experience in providing outsourcing embedded software development services. Make sure that the embedded software outsourcing company you choose has experience with various hardware platforms and skills in integrating programs with hardware. It is also important to consider the company's experience in performance optimization, understanding of reliability and security requirements for embedded systems, as well as the ability to develop efficient algorithms for resource management.

Read our detailed guide to learn how to hire embedded software engineers with solid experience for your IT initiatives

Define technical requirements ahead

Outsourcing embedded software projects require a diverse set of skills and experience to address the intricacies of each project. Here’s a brief overview of skills and technical requirements for embedded engineers you should seek for to outsource your hardware development project successfully:

  • Experience with C/C++ programming
  • Experience in General-Purpose Operating Systems (GPOS) and Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS)
  • Knowledge of basic protocols (12C, SPI, UART, LIN) and advanced protocols (SATA, PCle, MOST)
  • Experience with microprocessor and microcontroller architectures
  • Knowledge of networking technologies such as Ethernet, TCP/IP
  • A solid understanding of the different of memory (RAM, ROM, and Flash)
  • Knowledge of design patterns and algorithms
  • Basic knowledge of other programming languages such as Java, Net, or Python

You can always consult an experienced software vendor so that the experts can help you determine the technical requirements to assemble the right team with the right skills.

Choose experts who know hardware features

Given the diverse requirements of embedded projects, embedded software development company should provide you with engineers who deeply understand the hardware's intricacies. This includes carefully tuning systems and considering various factors such as form factor, central processing units (CPUs), memory types, storage options, and input/output (I/O) systems.

Experience in embedded computing solutions should be prioritized when selecting a technology partner for embedded product development. Staying up-to-date with the latest advances in CPU development enables technology partners to offer innovative solutions that effectively address the complexities of today's embedded projects.

Utilize Agile to increase efficiency

When choosing an embedded software outsourcing company, pay attention to which Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) they adhere to. Agile SDLC methodologies address common project management challenges in the technology industry, particularly outsourcing embedded development, so it's worth prioritizing. Agile can mitigate problems such as lengthening product development lifecycle and engineer burnout by accelerating the product lifecycle and removing inherent limitations.

Opt for flexibility

When engaging outsourced embedded software developers, prioritize companies who exhibit adaptability, which is essential for navigating the diverse requirements of embedded development. A strong grasp of software architecture concepts, event-driven systems, and UML modeling is indispensable, coupled with the ability to learn rapidly. Additionally, ensure the outsourcing provider can quickly adjust the size of the embedded engineering team to meet evolving project needs. Scaling the team up or down within minimal time frames is crucial for effective development process.

Partner with a qualified embedded outsourcing vendor

Our development team is ready to consult you on developing embedded software and offer full-cycle IT services for your product success

Our Expertise in Embedded Software Development

The Cleveroad team has broad experience in developing embedded software. To demonstrate our expertise, here is one of our embedded development cases for the healthcare industry — IoT system for monitoring EKG and blood oxygen level.

Our client is an American company that manufactures and sells medical IoT equipment, particularly ECG heart monitoring devices and pulse oximeters. The company approached us for help creating an IoT-based telemedicine system for monitoring EKG and blood oxygen level.

Our embedded software engineers developed a telemedicine application that connects to IoT devices via Bluetooth. A wire-free communication system is embedded to collect and analyze users' heart rate and blood oxygen levels data. The app is operating using FDA-approved sensors on the IoT devices: an ECG monitor and a pulse oximeter. Software updates to the devices are automatically offered to users when they connect to the app.

As a result, the client received an embedded telehealth system with data synchronization that allows monitoring of vital signs such as heart activity and blood oxygen levels. About 95% of users rate it at "4-5 stars". The platform also receives positive feedback from healthcare professionals.

IoT-based monitoring system created by Cleveroad

Embedded software integrated with IoT-based monitoring system developed by Cleveroad

How to Choose Embedded Software Outsourcing Company

Here's our guide on how to choose an embedded software development outsourcing partner:

Assess technical expertise

Dig deep into the embedded software outsourcing company's technical capabilities. Assess whether they have experience developing software for the specific hardware platforms you are using. Look for specific skills relevant to embedded software development, such as experience with microcontrollers and knowledge of hardware architectures.

Here is an example of a technology stack our engineers use for commercial embedded projects:

Embedded software development toolsExamples

Programming languages

C, C++


Arduino, RaspberryPi, STM32, PIC

Real-time operating systems (RTOS)

FreeRTOS, Zephyr, μC/OS

Integrated Development Environments (IDEs)

KeilµVision, MPLABX, ArduinoIDE

Communication protocols


Version control systems

Git, SVN

Documentation and project management

Doxygen, Jira, Confluence

Testing and debugging

JTAG, GDB, Oscilloscope

PCB design software

AltiumDesigner, Eagle, KiCad

Assembly programming

ARMAssembly, AVRAssembly

Please note that the technology stack we provided is just an example, and it can vary according to individual needs and requirements of your product, hardware peculiarities and other factors.

Review past projects in embedded software

Carefully review the embedded software outsourcing company’s portfolio and examine their past projects and case studies. Note the complexity and variety of embedded platforms they have implemented. Check if they have created firmware and hardware projects in your industry or with projects similar to yours. A detailed examination of the vendor's outsource embedded firmware development practices will allow you to choose the best embedded software development partner.

Evaluate communication strategy

Transparent communication is the key to successful collaboration. Evaluate how the remote embedded design company communicates with customers. Look for clear and transparent communication channels, regular project updates, and quick responses to requests and problems. Assess their willingness to accommodate your communication preferences and time zone differences if you work in different regions that are far apart.

We at Cleveroad ensure the comfort and transparency of communication with our clients by utilizing control calls, scheduling convenient rallies, and using project management and communication systems like Jira, Trello, Slack, etc.

Consider the provider’s security measures

Reliable embedded software systems' development requires robust security measures, especially if they handle sensitive data or operate in mission-critical environments. Ask what protocols and security measures the team of embedded software partner employs to protect your intellectual property, data confidentiality, and system integrity.

All processes and operations at Cleveroad adhere to ISO/IEC 27001-certificate which guarantees a high level of data privacy and security protection, which is especially important in embedded software development. Our team utilizes all modern security methods to protect embedded systems, such as data encryption in transit and at rest, Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), implementation of anti-malware mechanisms, and potential vulnerabilities remediation.

Check client reviews

Read reviews from previous outsourcing company clients. Their customers' impressions from working with an outsourcing embedded development company will tell you much about the team's experience. Choose a software vendor with many positive reviews emphasizing their expertise and experience in embedded software development outsourcing, transparent communication, reliability, and ability to deliver on time and budget. A positive reputation, satisfied customers, and strong client relationships indicate a reliable and trustworthy outsourcing partner.

Review our Clutch profile to explore how we’ve helped companies to address their business needs and unveil their opinion about cooperation with us

Cleveroad — Your Reliable Embedded Outsourcing Partner

Cleveroad is an outsourcing software development company with over 12 years of experience creating software and firmware solutions for various business domains, including Healthcare, Logistics, Education, FinTech, Media, and others. We have R&D centers located in Estonia, Poland, Ukraine, United States, and Norway.

Our experts offer complete coverage of on-demand IT services: custom software development, legacy software modernization, UI/UX design, cloud app development, IT consulting, quality assurance, etc. We have broad experience in embedded software development, including expertise in working with various hardware platforms, integrating hardware components, optimizing system performance, ensuring real-time responsiveness, and implementing security measures to protect sensitive data.

By cooperating with Cleveroad, you will get such benefits:

  • Experience with microprocessor and microcontroller architectures, networking technologies such as Ethernet, TCP/IP, General-Purpose Operating Systems, Real-Time Operating Systems, etc.
  • Expertise in working with industrial communication standards such as Modbus and CAN, allowing us to create embedded systems that are compatible with existing industrial networks and equipment
  • Product quality assurance and control at all levels validate every part of your embedded system: functionality, performance, usability, and security
  • Flexible outsourcing cooperation models to choose from: Dedicated Team, Staff Augmentation, Time & Material, etc.
  • Free Solution Workshop stage to attach your business needs with embedded software creation
  • Mature quality management proved by an ISO 9001 certificate to meet the quality needs of your embedded software
  • ISO 27001-certified security management based on confirmed policies and processes for your embedded software solid data security
  • Experience in building embedded software in adherence to international industry security standards like ISO 27001:2013, PCI DSS, ISO 9001:2015, GDPR, HIPAA, etc.
  • Our software and hardware developers employ Agile methodology to optimize performance in embedded software development

Hire a reliable embedded outsourcing partner

We are ready to provide you with a team of skillful embedded software engineers to build a robust embedded system

Frequently Asked Questions
What is embedded software development outsourcing?

Embedded software development outsourcing refers to the practice of contracting external companies or teams to handle the design, development, and testing of software that is embedded within hardware devices or systems. This approach allows organizations to leverage the expertise and resources of specialized firms to accelerate project timelines, reduce costs, access diverse skill sets, and focus on their core competencies.

How to outsource embedded firmware development?

Here are the main steps of successful embedded software development outsourcing:

  1. Assess the proficiency and track record of your embedded software outsourcing provider.
  2. Determine the necessary skills for your remote embedded team.
  3. Collaborate with a development partner knowledgeable in hardware capabilities.
  4. Employ Agile development methods to enhance project efficiency.
  5. Consider the importance of flexibility in your decision-making process.
How to choose embedded software outsourcing services?

When selecting embedded software outsourcing company, consider IT providers who have deep technical expertise, transparent communication, provide robust security measures, compliance, cultural fit, and contractual terms. Assess potential providers based on their capabilities, experience, and ability to meet your project requirements.

How do you find the right embedded software outsourcing company?

Here's an overview of critical steps to find embedded software outsourcing partner:

  • Evaluate company’s technical expertise
  • Review their past projects in embedded software
  • Asses vendor’s communication strategy
  • Consider the provider’s security measures
  • Check client reviews
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About author

Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics

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