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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Services Science - Need Of The Day (Part I)

( Via Businessweek) Paul Horn of IBM writes Services Science, a melding of technology with an understanding of business processes and organization is crucial to the economy's next wave. Excerpts with edits and my comments added:

It's a melding of technology with an understanding of business processes and organization - and it's crucial to the economy's next wave. Services have come to represent more than 75% of the U.S. economy( may be 2/3rdsof global economy),and the field is growing rapidly. In the information-technology business, services have become even more important. But there's a shortage of skills where they're needed most - at the intersection of business and IT. As companies build more efficient IT systems, streamline operations, and embrace the Internet through wholesales changes in business processes, a huge opportunity exists. Nonetheless, little or no focused efforts are preparing people for this new environment or to even to thoroughly understand it. The IT-services sector is in dire need of people who are talented in the application of technologies to help businesses, governments, and other organizations improve what they do now - plus tap into totally new areas. The complex issues surrounding the transformation of businesses at such a fundamental level require the simultaneous development of both business methods and the technology that supports those methods. This is the seedbed for a new discipline that industry and academia are coming to call "services science."
Services science would merge technology with an understanding of business processes and organization, a combination of recognizing a company's pain points and the tools that can be applied to correct them. To thrive in this environment, an IT-services expert will need to understand how that capability can be delivered in an efficient and profitable way, how the services should be designed, and how to measure their effectiveness. This discipline would bring together ongoing work in the more established fields of computer science, operations research, industrial engineering, management sciences, and social and legal sciences, in order to develop the skills required in a services-led economy.

Today, IT-services training is mostly accomplished through individual companies' on-the-job programs. This may have been adequate before, but it's not any longer, especially with increasing globalization We're now entering a new phase where value will be found in what we do with information to improve business, government, and people's lives. Call it an innovation-based economy, where profits and jobs will go to those who have the skills to capitalize on the explosion of new opportunities at the intersection of business and technology.

Part II with my views on this topic shall be published shortly.
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