Service science and engineering
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Service science and service engineering is an area of expertise which can be placed at the interface of software service systems and new globe-spanning business processes. It is especially relevant to disciplines which involve both business and information technology. A master course that focuses on service engineering and service science is the International Master in Service Engineering (IMSE).
Service science, management and engineering has developed in response to the need to combine technological and non-technological innovations in a rapidly growing environment. The term covers research, scientific projects, and innovative forms of education. The discipline addresses the service sector's unique problems by using various approaches. It focuses on ICT, business, management, industrial engineering, socio-legal sciences, and economics. The innovative creation of value for both customers and shareholders is the heart of this interdisciplinary approach.
A 'service-dominant' approach is starting to take over from the traditional goods-dominant approach. Some key factors of this service-dominant approach are: 1. the realisation of a service as a process; 2. a focus on dynamic resources, such as knowledge and skills Service science stresses global economic developments such as globalization, competition, outsourcing, and interdependence.
What is meant by ‘services’?
A 'service' can be described as: all intangible effects that result from a client interaction that creates and captures value. Services are everywhere in today's world. The sector ranges from common 'intangible' goods, such as health and education, to newer goods, such as modern communications and IT. Services are said to be essential to increase productivity and growth, and are considered salient to the development of knowledge-based economies. The growth of the service sector is in part a response to the change of traditional manufacturing industries into services. Many modern services combine both products and services, and the distinction between the two has blurred. However, a number of typical shared characteristics still distinguish services from goods-producing sectors. These include a clear focus on knowledge and ICT, ever-changing business processes, and unique financial, regulatory and investment structures. Service industries also cover a large variety of business types, from travel to highly knowledge-intensive services, such as global communication networks and specialized financial services. In general, knowledge-intensive services encompass both professional services (e.g. financial, legal), and science and technology-linked services (e.g. environmental, mining, health).
Why is service engineering important?
The explosive growth in services worldwide is seen as the next major revolution in the world economy. As service economies continue to expand and powerful digital communications networks – such as the Internet – evolve rapidly, companies are transforming from regional businesses to globally integrated enterprises. With the ever-increasing use of the Internet around the world, service networks and cloud computing will be key ingredients for this generation. The fast-growing discipline of service engineering is related to service economy growth and the global need for service innovation. Research and education in this field are therefore in high demand.