Computer software applications are designed to support either a specialized group or a general group. A vertical application is a software application that is designed for a specific industry or organization. This software contains business logic and functions that are specific to a particular industry.
The modern world uses computer applications for most business activity. This includes word processing, communications, and business specific activities. The vertical application is the application that is unique for a specific business industry. These applications assist an organization with sales, marketing, inventory, and overall organization.
Auto insurance is an insurance policy that, among other things, protects drivers from personal liability in the event of an accident. Typically this insurance policy requires specific background research and validation of an individual's driving record. Most large insurance agencies use an insurance application to determine the rates of each person's policy. This vertical application has enabled the insurance industry to provide near real-time quotes to potential clients.
The medical industry is a complex field with many specialized units. Computer automation has transformed the medical industry into a modern-diagnosis and record-keeping machine. Each patient has specific needs that require appropriate monitoring and management. The software application that is used in hospitals to register patients is an example of a vertical application.
The hospitality industry is a service-based industry that includes restaurants, hotels, and most vacation destinations. Within the hospitality industry there are several vertical applications. A hotel reservation system is a computer application that enables customers to reserve rooms for a specific date. These systems have evolved into Internet-based application where customers can check room rates for multiple hotel organizations. Typically each hotel chain has a vertical application that is specific for that organization.
A horizontal application is a software application designed to support multiple business units. It is a generalized application that can provide automation for an entire industry. An automated email application is an example of a horizontal application. Any business unit can use automated email applications as a communication device regardless of the specifics business flows of that industry.
A vertical market is a business term that describes a unique market within a specific industry. This market is specialized as a niche business unit. Video teleconferencing is a vertical market software application that enables live video with audio. This evolution in the telecommunication industry has created a new model in most organizations that has enabled the outsourcing of resources.