Domain knowledge is crucial for all kinds of industry. In this article we will try to explain why it is so important to substantially invest in this sphere, and why it is important to involve domain experts in enterprise software modernization.
The value of experience
Domain Expertise drives company efficiency, developing experience, creating processes, policies, and new customer service approaches. But building or changing company inner culture takes time and needs to happen in the early stages of change.
If companies do not pay due attention to domain expertise distribution among its employees, the loss of domain experts might be a huge blow for the whole company. And on the contrary, the companies that involve the domain expertise in all business processes find it easier to overcome crises and nurture new expert personnel.
Domain expertise components
Domain Expertise is formed from three skill spheres - Generic, Industry and Solution.
Generic skills (Area A) are the basic experience needed to perform certain working activities. Such specialists are able to successfully handle routine processes, but lack industry-specific knowledge and the experience of software solutions implementation.
Being skilled in industry knowledge (Area B) means knowing the terms and understanding the domain specifics. Such knowledge comes only with lasting experience of working in a particular industry, along with Generic skills. Although, the specialists of this sector have no knowledge of how particular software solutions might be used to meet business needs.
The specialists in Area C know much about software solutions, but lack direct industry experience and basic understanding of working processes.
Those who combine skill sets (Areas D, E or F) can be dubbed Domain Experts. Such specialists are always in great demand in the market, as they can handle crises, educate staff and run projects as managers.
The Area G specialists are the 1st class experts, who have the generic skills, plus industry and solution skills.
Domain knowledge refers to a broad-based understanding of a particular industry or solution.
Domain knowledge and Enterprise software development
Domain expertise is the point of growth for every company, making it unique and granting sustainable competitive advantages. Gathering domain knowledge from domain experts helps to identify domain-specific challenges. Solutions to these challenges can then be incorporated in the high-level software meeting unique business needs.
What you need is to find a development team possessing both technical and your industry-specific knowledge - a combination required to create specific software products.
In general, there are three possible ways. The first is to hire and maintain your own IT department, that will develop and maintain the industry-specific software. Secondly, you can order an out-of-box software solution with some preset features. And finally, you can embark on a custom software development project. All these approaches have their own specifics and are applicable for different business cases. Let’s have a closer comparative look at those features.
Finding the equilibrium
A reasonable balance can be found in Custom software development, presenting a way of partnership, when external suppliers work with your organisation over a lasting period of time, collecting business requirements during Engagement project, designing the software in collaboration with your company domain experts and regularly communicating with stakeholders and CXOs about long-term goals and strategic plans.
Collaborating with the client company staff under Custom software engineering project, the developers are guaranteed to gain the appropriate domain knowledge, understand the client’s requirements and be able to assess the impact of any new work. Such approach saves the expense of hiring permanent staff, but you can still be confident that the software supplier will develop the quality product, working alongside your internal expert-staff.
Enterprise digital projects often have to address diverse needs, but by taking the time to build a shared understanding of requirements, you can make sure that the value is delivered to the company in the nearest term. With key objectives outlined and discussed, any possible conflicts that may hinder development can be avoided. In this case you can be confident that the delivered solution will truly support your business increasing your domain expertise.
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