Engineering’s Role in the Evolutionary Understanding of Complex Service Systems
Thomas, Jakita O.
Kieliszewski, Cheryl A.
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In the United States, over 70% of the labor force is engaged in services, and an estimated 75% of the GDP in 2005 was derived from services. Industrialized countries around the world share similar statistics, while emerging economic powers, such as India and China, are seeing dramatic growth in their service economy. The service sector has evolved from a low-skill, labor-based position to one where high-skill professional services, particularly business-to-business services, are a leading driver of innovation, accelerated business globalization, and economic disruption. This rapid shift, due to the complex and inter-disciplinary nature of service system design, deployment, support and evolution, has resulted not only in a gap between the practice, definition and science of service systems, but also in a need for service scientists who are able to understand that complexity, design solutions that address the complexity, and evaluate those solutions in light of the complexity. This talk will summarize the state of service economy and discuss the case for a science of service systems as well as the need for engineering disciplines to participate in the evolution of complex service systems.