Tag Archives: matrix

Services can be delivered by Technology, People and both

Attending a recent Xerox PARC talk on Open Services Innovation, I realized that people talk about services today with implied context.  Sort of a industry and market context for the meaning of the word service.  That means Wireless people offer services, Hospitals offers Services, Software-as-service (Saas) vendors offers services, everyone does.   Overall, the potential set of meanings for the word Services is expanding, much the same way our meaning of Media is expanding.

Henry Chesbrough, of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of business, did a great job of discussing the potential of innovating services and including new partnership models and new twists on the business models.

When use of a term (word) begins, it has historical context, assumptions and meaning that are a function of the environment and culture. These meanings carry historical baggage, but do evolve slowly over time.  Newer meanings make discussions more difficult when we enter an era of rapid technology change and innovation.   This has implications for branding, strategy, marketing communication and publishing and speaking.   Marketers sometimes  to latch on to words and their connotations that may have positive trends or media exposure; whether they add clarity or increase confusion.

The problem lies in the difference in context between speakers (media sources) and audiences (media recipients or targets) both in the same room, and over time, when reading publications.   Sometimes publications cross “implied service context” boundaries.  Imagine a panel discussion of industry speakers from USPS, FedEx, United Healthcare, Apple, RIM, IBM, Amazon Web Services speaking to an audience of 1000+ people, using the word services — and you catch my drift.

With all that in mind, I created this framework, which allows people to focus in a quadrant that is specific to a certain company, industry, problem or opportunity in question.  Its merely a frame of reference. Service is such an “open aspect” these days, it really deserves a form of anchoring, and thats what I hope this diagram achieves.

The growing importance of cloud computing and application platforms is creating the new need for specificity in using the term service.  There was a time before the advent of manufacturing that everything in the economy was a service. In the distant future, that may be true again.  Note the framework suggests an easy shorthand, Service TP (technology for people, like CRM product offerings through salesforce.com).  Service PP (Law firms and IBM global services), Service PT (people doing data entry into software systems, and getting paid for it), Service TT (Like APIs that provide RSS and XML data to outside applications, like Mashery.com).   So Which Service Type are you providing?

Click the Image below to Enlarge it.

People and Technology provide different types of services
frame of reference for services including people and technology

Does the Government Lack the Motivation of Competitive Environment?

Should the government experiment with social media and web technology?
The question I always have is “who does the government report to” ?

The naive, pat answer is: “the people”. The problem is that people have to mobilize and centralize their opinions and power, in order to effect this power to change government. The lag time, and tools and methods required to do so, usually take us about 2-4 years to apply. Coincidently, that is often the term of office.

In employment in America, the “employment at will clause” allows employers to change employees when violations of trust, performance and fit happen, which impact the organization negatively. In general, employees “report to” employers. Its anti-job security to employees, but its incumbent on employees to find ways to harmonize and add value so that employers do not exercise there right to terminate employees. In an economic downturn, it allows private enterprise the power to reduce cost, change focus and continue operations and avoid bankruptcy.   Bankruptcy often results when debt taken on by the organization exceeds its ability to pay “within the reasonable period of operation”, usually quarterly.  Not every 4 years (politics) but every 3 months.  Hmmmm, big difference.   Whats the term of office in Corporations? In Government?

Actions to reduce operating costs are is the corporation seeking to maintain itself, in a COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT. Unfortunately, by contrast, Governments do not have a competitive environment which encourages competitive response, improvement and changes to staffing, focus and accountability for results.

Since there is no “better products and better services” for citizens to select from, there is a huge incentive to avoid the hard choices and hard work of improvement, innovation, and cost cutting. Instead the motivation of self-preservation, and inertia are supported by PR, media manipulation and talk (which is always cheap).

Media is the instrument of control, and the Market is the instrument of competition. Since there is new open market of alternative governments for citizens to select from (in the short run), Monopoly power exists in Governments. At the city, state, and federal level.

In fact, one of my favorite quotes is “The justice department has a monopoly on antitrust enforcement”

So without further ado, here is a list of some examples of Government use of web technology
Matrix Click Here