Rethinking Norms: The Power of Cross-Industry Trends and Visionary Tech Partnerships

How to choose the right technology partner

The developer of the iconic Nike sneaker series Tinker Hatfield was inspired by the architecture of the famous Pompidou Center. Thus, the world got the Nike Air Max 1. These “bubbled” sneakers weren’t just revolutionary in design — they were game-changers for comfort and performance too.

Memory foam, initially cooked up by NASA for airplane seats, is now a staple in mattresses and pillows for cloud-like comfort and support. When it comes to automotive design influenced by aviation, the sleek Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is often cited as a prime example, with its streamlined profile taking cues from airplanes. And the Apple Watch brings medical tech right to your wrist, packing in numerous health-tracking features from wearable devices.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. Innovations spread between industries, causing seismic shifts and leaving any laggards in the dust, unable to keep up with market demands.

Think only big-name brands get in on the action? Think again. Let’s dive into how similar waves of change happen at businesses we interact with every single day.

At the same time, let’s trace how cross-industry trends influence the world of software development. How can you get a jump on competitors and be the one setting new standards by teaming up with the right tech partner?

To kick things off, let’s look at some common patterns of interaction between industries or within the same playing field.

Filling the Gap to Shake Up an Industry

Let’s say there’s a major gap in standard industry processes, but all the players — both service providers and users — are so used to jumping through hoops that they accept it as the norm. Then — finally! — one savvy player decides enough is enough and rolls out a vastly improved service. Users rejoice, and what do the other players have to do? You guessed it — offer their customers that same quality of service or risk getting left in the dust.

A textbook example is the Norwegian bank Skandiabanken completely rethinking the consumer loan process.

Banking software development

How did it used to go down? A customer would approach the bank for a loan. The bank would hand over a laundry list of required docs. The customer would have to spend ages gathering it all up. Once they finally had the full stack, they’d head back to the bank. Then, the bank would take their sweet time reviewing everything. After all that, the customer might get their loan…or get denied. Long, inconvenient, unpredictable.

Sbanken flipped the script. Their software syncs with open data sources on Norwegian citizens. This lets them grab all the necessary info right when the customer requests a loan and make an instant call for approval. A process that used to drag on for weeks now occurs within minutes.

How did this rock the landscape for Norwegian banking? Big time. Other banks had to scramble to implement the same solutions or risk losing their customers. These days, no one makes customers waste time gathering paperwork — even though pre-Skandiabanken, that was considered par for the course.

Great Ideas Jump Industries to Become Red-Hot Trends

You know the saying “ideas are in the air”? More often than not, that means waves of change flow from one field to another, becoming trends across multiple industries simultaneously.

Case in point? The trend of offering “packaged” services instead of customized ones.

The Norwegian hair salon chain Cutters gives customers just that — service clips. A basic haircut, flat fee, 15 minutes tops, no extras. Cutters undercuts pricier salons by a mile, and their customer base keeps growing. Initially targeting men aged 35-60 with no fussy hairstyle needs, they’ve since struck a chord with women 18-25, too. These girls aren’t looking to drop major coin on cuts every month, so they’ll get a pricier salon treatment every three months or so and maintain the look at budget-friendly Cutters in between.

The trend of offering "packaged" services instead of customized ones.

Can we spot this trend in other industries? You bet. Take funeral homes. The traditional approach is vague websites listing services without prices. The grieving customer only finds out the final, often staggering $6-7K cost in person. With emotions running high, they usually just foot the bill, even if it means taking out a loan to bury a loved one.

Not the Norwegian funeral bureau VERD Begravelse. Their website lays out three transparent package deals: Simple Ceremony, Personal Ceremony, and Great Personal Ceremony. You see the service list and price tag upfront. No surprises, no preying on vulnerability.

An Industry-Leading Solution as a Benchmark

Construction is one of those fields with a head-spinning number of providers, contractors, processes, and functions involved. Until recently, every company juggled disconnected digital solutions plus reams of paperwork. Tracking hours, assigning tasks, materials, equipment, payroll — it all lived separately on each project.

The Norwegian firm SmartDok decided to be the one to fix that. They brought to market a modular mobile app rolling all those functions into one — plus extras like HSEQ compliance, staff skills tracking, document sharing, finance system integrations, and more.

Software development for the Construction industry

Today, SmartDok is the construction software to beat in Norway, used by 3,750 companies and 85,000 users. Being their technological partner, Vector Software expertly guided the full development cycle from initial advisory through prototyping, coding, and ongoing support.

Could this game-changing solution be a model for other industries? Definitely. Take modern salmon farming — hatchery ops, feeding, water quality, disease prevention, harvesting, logistics. While software exists for automating pieces, no overarching solution ties it all together. The company that cracks that code first could become the top fish in the sea.

Teaming Up with a Tech Partner for Industry-Shaking Solutions

Discussing case studies doesn’t mean much without actionable insight, so here are some key tips on factoring all this into your software roadmap and prospecting for a tech partner.

Don’t come with set tasks — bring problems

Solution architecture design as a crusial part of custom software development

Have an idea for a digital solution? Don’t hand developers a to-do list right off the bat. Articulate the user pain points, then work with tech experts to explore smarter ways to solve them. This mindset can help unearth process gaps your competitors are overlooking — the kind of blindspots that don’t just give you an edge, but let you rewrite the whole playing field.

Seek out a vendor with technical maturity

Which brings us here: to really ideate those innovative fixes, your partner can’t just check off tasks. They need a proven track record bridging business consulting and software architecture. Vet their success stories — do they frame them as checklists completed or as game-changing problems solved?

Judge the architectural elegance

Examine their solutions closely. Are they just random features bundled together, or do they streamline entire workflows, actually making users’ lives easier? Signs of the latter could include:

  • Modular, component-based structure
  • Scalability and performance optimization
  • Microservices approach
  • Service-oriented architecture (SOA)
  • Event-driven architecture (EDA)
  • Robust security and compliance
  • Monitoring, logging, and analytics capabilities

Prioritize cross-industry know-how

The conventional wisdom is to choose a technology partner based on domain expertise — check if they’ve built software for your field before. But doesn’t that run the risk of just staying in line, never taking that bold leap forward?

Think creatively about what insights from other sectors could come in handy. That cross-pollination of ideas might be your springboard for revolutionizing your entire industry and truly improving the lives of millions.

Geir Egil Myhre

Founder and President

Every market-leading project starts with understanding your target audience, knowing your industry inside and out — but also having the audacity to think outside those boundaries to create something truly revolutionary.

At Vector Software, we’re ready to lend you our decade-plus of development expertise, our architectural design mastery across domains, our cross-sector insights — and our passion for helping you make this world a better place.

Reach out, and let’s craft something amazing together!

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