Service Science, Progress and Directions

Interest in Service Science, Management, Engineering, and Design (SSMED) continues to grow globally.  Related conferences and journals are continuing to appear on a regular basis (see “conferences” in this blog for some recent pointers).   Prof. Henry Chesbrough of UC Berkeley’s new book “Open Services Innovation” shows how companies in any industry can make the critical shift from product- to service-centric thinking, from closed to open innovation where co-creating with customers enables sustainable business models that drive continuous value creation for customers.

More and more traditional manufacturing is embracing servitization, for example customer integration into a car factory (Germany Urban http://www.flixxy.com/high-tech-car-factory.htm) and  supplier integration into a car factory (Brazil Rural http://apps.detnews.com/apps/multimedia/player/index.php?id=1189).   Managers of service businesses are aware of trends being driven by technological advances, including increase in self-service on front-stage, increase in automation on back-stage, increase in globalization, increase in choice, increase in information.   Interest in service design, management, and engineering are all accelerating in both academia and industry.

However, the biggest opportunities may be in the public sector.   For example in the US, President Obama in his State of the Union speech talked about the redesign of government to make it not only more efficient and less wasteful in service delivery, but also more capable of addressing the complex problems of the 21st century.   More and more governments are finding opportunities to embrace cloud computing and shift to a shared service and shared governance models.   From a service science perspective, there is more interest in “whole service” (http://service-science.info/archives/1056) and holistic service systems, such as luxury hotels (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm7MeZlS5fo), universities, cities, states, and even nations – complex service systems to be sure.  Ambitious projects are underway to model larger and larger systems, both physical and social (http://ijsdir.jrc.ec.europa.eu/index.php/ijsdir/article/viewFile/119/99).

As the conferences, journals, books, and educational programs continue to accelerate the progress of the global service science community, all aspects of service management, engineering, and design are benefitting. The Service Research and Innovation Initiative (SRII) is planning a conference soon in Silicon Valley, California, with several national chapters presenting (http://www.thesrii.org), and keynote speakers from major technology companies presenting.    Readers may also be interested in some recent presentation describing service science progress and directions available at:   http://www.slideshare.net/spohrer. “

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