The Arduino platform has one great advantage. That being the large community of users, which has generated a large variety of "shields". Whether the shield is a wireless module, display interface, motor driver or one of the many other boards already in existance; it is often possible to cobble together a system to jump start the software development.
Coridium has taken advantage of this in many of our design contracts. The environmental monitor design was started with a SuperPRO and a Roving Networks WiFi shield. This let our software designers check for performance of WiFi connection, and when the hardware arrived that portion of the code was already functioning.
Often we have used the Arduino footprint for use with a new microprocessor. Sometimes these become a product, such as the PRO-Start; or sometimes it is for our own internal use like the LPC4300 series designs we have done. This NXP processor has virtually all the peripherals NXP makes including a new one called the serial GPIO. The serial GPIO is a programmable array of shift registers which we have used for custom camera and display interfaces.