Among the most compelling reasons to consider a vertical, rather than horizontal, solutions to your business challenges are:a
Competition / Commoditization
If the market is saturated with competitors in your product or service category, it’s difficult for your target customers to understand the differences at a level that matters to them. It doesn’t matter that you attack the same problems from a different angle than your competition if the net benefit to the customer is anything less than a big WOW.
Mobile devices are wreaking havoc on manufacturers of specialty handheld devices in much the same way that PCs did to mini computers. If your situation is analogous to the mobile paradigm shift, you probably need to buy some time.
Focus on solving high-impact problems for specific markets that recognize and need your expertise most. Adding incremental features and improving cross-product integration to solve bigger problems in key market segments can buy the necessary time required to make the technology transition without sacrificing growth or profitability. Leverage that vertical market expertise as part of the technology transition to ensure high-value differentiation in a product category that may already be a commodity by the time your new offerings land in the market.
Sustainable growth is more easily achieved by leveraging the value of multiple products to solve exponentially bigger problems. Eliminate the management and marketing of products in silos and adopt a big picture view of key vertical markets to understand what’s driving their top-down agendas. Align the investments in your portfolio accordingly so you’re constantly solving the biggest and most complex problems that fall within the realm of your core competencies.