Making IT Work

A History of the Computer Services Industry

Jeffrey R. Yost,

Making IT Work: A History of the Computer Services Industry
 
 

The evolution of the multi-billion-dollar computer services industry, from consulting and programming to data analytics and cloud computing, with case studies of important companies.

The computer services industry has worldwide annual revenues of nearly a trillion dollars and employs millions of workers, but is often overshadowed by the hardware and software products industries. In this book, Jeffrey Yost shows how computer services, from consulting and programming to data analytics and cloud computing, have played a crucial role in shaping information technology—in making IT work. Tracing the evolution of the computer services industry from the 1950s to the present, Yost provides case studies of important companies (including IBM, Hewlett Packard, Andersen/Accenture, EDS, Infosys, and others) and profiles of such influential leaders as John Diebold, Ross Perot, and Virginia Rometty. He offers a fundamental reinterpretation of IBM as a supplier of computer services rather than just a producer of hardware, exploring how IBM bundled services with hardware for many years before becoming service-centered in the 1990s.

Yost describes the emergence of companies that offered consulting services, data processing, programming, and systems integration. He examines the development of industry-defining trade associations; facilities management and the firm that invented it, Ross Perot's EDS; time sharing, a precursor of the cloud; IBM's early computer services; and independent contractor brokerages. Finally, he explores developments since the 1980s: the transformations of IBM and Hewlett Packard; the offshoring of enterprises and labor; major Indian IT service providers and the changing geographical deployment of U.S.-based companies; and the paradigm-changing phenomenon of cloud service.



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