Service Industry

Service Industry

IEICE/IEEE Joint Special Issue on Autonomous Decentralized Systems

A Study of the Service Industry—Functions, Features and
Chitoor V. RAMAMOORTHY† , Nonmember

SUMMARY 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 manmachine 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.
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The service industry, whether it is travel, leisure, entertainment or finance, involves personalized activities
requiring interaction and intervention between humans
and machines. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
estimates that more than two thirds of all workers in
U.S. are involved in service functions at present and
their numbers are increasing rapidly (Fig. 1(a)).
The dictionary...

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