In this white paper, author Jon Hansen details how the vertical market came to be and what this means today. The MAI Basic Four and Industry Specific Applications or “ISA,” reference technology with which you may be unfamiliar as they are from the early days of the high tech evolution that marked the introduction of personal computing on a massive scale to the business world. However, while their relegation to a fading historical footnote is understandable in the context of today’s digital revolution, they represent an important starting point regarding the identification of vertical markets. Specifically, the recognition that while all industry has a certain commonality of use, there are important differences between the individual sectors that require customization of functionality related to achieving desired outcomes. It is on this last point that this Knowledge Note will ultimately focus.
One of the benefits of having a long and diverse history in the high technology industry is how it affords you the advantage of perspective over time. With the introduction of minicomputers followed by desktop or personal computers into the workplace, technology and its impact became real on a mass scale. Through this expansion beyond the IT department and the mainframe world, computing power became affordable, and because of this it was no longer limited or confined to only the largest and richest corporations.
Greater accessibility also meant that the demands for customizable solutions would exponentially increase at the grassroots level within specific industry sectors. In other words, expanding computing power beyond a select few to realize the greater value required the creation of industry-specific applications outside of what was being offered by the handful of a few large service providers.
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