Specialized software applications often fly well below the radar because they are designed with a very high degree of specification to serve a particular industry. Notwithstanding the lack of public recognition, proprietary software apps and systems play a crucial operational role in many industries.

To a certain extent, specialized software can be thought of as almost being the opposite of open source software. Many corporate information officers believe that some industries should only use proprietary or specialized software so they can avoid security and functionality issues. Here are four unique industries that use specialized software to stay competitive and relevant:

Criminal Justice

An unfortunate aspect of life in the United States is that its criminal justice and corrections systems have become part of a massive industrial complex that requires constant management and considerable bureaucracy. Hundreds of courthouses across the U.S. manage their criminal division caseload with a software system named Odyssey Case Manager, developed by Tyler Technologies. In 2016, the software came under fire when officials in Shelby County noticed that glitches in the system were producing erroneous arrest warrants.

Nuclear Power Plants

The management of nuclear power plants is accomplished through a combination of automated processes as well as human supervision. Safety, efficiency and a high knowledge level of physics are the primary elements required to maintain not only reactors but also all the other functions related to energy production, and these are the elements that must be coded into software applications to manage nuclear power plants. The development of these software applications presents an interesting example of parallelism, whereby nuclear scientists must contribute lines of code that are later compiled and perfected by software engineers who also studied nuclear physics.

Trucking and Road Transportation

The American trucking industry has been using specialized software solutions to manage its operations since the late 20th century. One of the major developers for the trucking industry is Nastek National, known for its software package designed for the benefit of small trucking companies. This package allows business owners to get the most out of their fleets through scheduling, fuel spending, dispatch management, and more. No hardware expenditures are required for this cloud-based solution.

Aerospace and Defense

In the United States, the Armed Services and NASA are among the earliest adopters of specialized software. In many cases, they develop their own packages to handle critical mission situations; however, they are also known to adopt commercial enterprise solutions such as SAP for their personnel and accounting systems.

Specialized software has been making life and business easier for many decades, and this is an industry that will be relied upon more and more as time goes by. It’s possible that any given industry, or even every individual business, can have customized software to work through to get the job done.