The combination of enormous computing capacity, ubiquitous network connection, and emerging technical standards are making possible solutions to formerly intractable business, institutional and societal problems. To exploit this potential, organizations must achieve a new level of integration across business processes, the workforce and the underlying ICT infrastructure. Increasingly, organizations are looking at their operations as a series of services - and deciding which services they perform best, and which could be handled better by an external specialist.
This transformation to a services based economy strongly suggests the need for a scientifically rigorous approach to areas previously treated more like an art form and demand an agenda for increased research and knowledge development. The University of Alberta has considerable experience, skills and interest in this emerging area - what has been termed services science.