A Study of the Service Industry--Functions, Features and Control


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E83-B   No.5   pp.885-902
Publication Date: 2000/05/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (IEICE/IEEE Joint Special Issue on Autonomous Decentralized Systems)
service engineering,  service industry,  software engineering,  

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We study the evolution and the dominance of the service based functions and their distinguishing features. As the service industry matures, its functions bear many similarities with the software development processes, such as intense man-machine interaction, knowledge intensive activities, flexibility in the organization, control and execution of tasks. In this paper we discuss wide range of interconnected topics, emphasizing the multi-faceted nature of service functions. These include the evolution of service industry and their products, the consumerization of high tech products based on their large-scale adoption and the consequent creation of implicit requirements; the technology transfer processes; the error proneness due to intense and prolonged interaction with computers and some methods of mitigating error incidence. We argue that by proper 'humanization and personalization' of interactive systems and by the use of teams of computer supported professionals, we can prevent such errors. We discuss some useful team types, models of their behavior and their control aspects. As the cost of communications shrinks like due to the Internet, we conclude that a fully decentralized system control provides a flat, flexible, and fair and friction-free organization for large team based service systems.