Understanding the software market

I’ve been doing a bit of research into software tools which could count as ‘Software for Domain Experts’ and this is as far as I’ve got so far.

Microsoft Office must be the dominant ‘software for domain experts’ – for all the bad talk you hear about Excel, it is still a great tool for an individual to make an individual analysis (the problems start when you share with someone else).

E-mail – talking to other experts – and MS Word, writing reports to share with other experts – is great software.

But we’re trying to talk about something richer and deeper here.

Business Process Management software is still perhaps the closest to domain expert software. But fundamentally its role is to manage processes, not serve the experts. It is also very expensive, perhaps only suitable for very large companies. ‘Lite’ business process management software is available (often under the name ‘low code’) but seems usually limited to workflow management, which is perhaps the opposite of domain expert software. (Its managing your tasks but it isn’t helping you be better as an expert).

There are suites of software under the label ‘decision support’ and ‘decision analysis’. There’s a great list on Capterra’s website.

A lot of this seems to be very specific about supporting decision making – weighing up the options around a decision, supporting collaboration and helping you make the best choice.

Actual decision making is really the icing on the cake of an expert’s role though – most of it is endless gathering and sifting through information to understand the landscape.

This company – Host Analytics – seems very much a ‘software for experts’ but for financial planning, helping financial planners get the information they need and understand how money is working in the company.

Here is another interesting company I have known for a while – Caesar Systems or PetroVR – which makes a range of decision support tools for the upstream oil and gas industry.

Perhaps building software to support experts is so difficult it can only really be done for a specific field or domain such as financial planning – but that means it can only work in an industry sector large enough to support the development cost.

Is there anyone building broad expert software which can be customised to the needs of many different experts?



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