Service Science Odyssey – Why and by whom?

This is the first blog entry on our odyssey to the world of service research. Our journey’s goal is to become renowned throughout the world for our research. Even though our vision is high above in the skies, we start our journey by acknowledging that we are still far away from the top and admitting that the path we have chosen is still very foggy. That is the reason why we call this an odyssey. This blog will share our experiences on the odyssey and we try to describe our journey realistically. However, before continuing it is good to look back at the starting point and the reasoning behind this goal.

In 2011, ICT sector in Finland was going through some dramatic changes, and it was realized in VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland that also the ICT research has to adapt to the changes in business environment. At the same time service research had gained stronger foothold from VTT’s research portfolio and service-oriented thinking had started to spread to the business world. VTT saw this development as an opportunity and decided that there is a need to reorganize research in ICT cluster. By the end of June 2012 a new knowledge center focusing on digital service research was born. Our team is part of this new knowledge center.

Teams within the new knowledge center were organized in a fast phase, and our team was formed on the competencies from four different previous teams. We had researchers who had focused on a wide range of topics outside service and business research. Hence, in our new team we have a good mix of people representing various disciplines and studying various phenomena in the ICT context. As a joint effort, we managed to identify two common research areas related to digital services: 1) business effects and transformation, and 2) customer value and understanding. Hence, the new team was named as value-driven service business, and our journey was ready to start.

The key driver on our journey is that we are dedicated towards becoming a top research team, and our versatile experiences and backgrounds provide excellent starting points for that. We believe that multidisciplinary background (e.g. marketing, economics, information processing, information networks, software and industrial engineering, information security and strategic management) of our team members is our biggest strength which helps us to find our spot for contribution in the field of service science. At the same time we understand that our biggest strength is one of the biggest challenges on the journey, since multidisciplinarity makes it much more difficult to find common ground for the research. However, we are motivated, dedicated and ready to work hard on the journey. Above all, we are passionate to find new ways how research can make world better place.

In forthcoming posts we will present you insights into our journey. Since we don’t yet have a clear plan where our journey is taking us, we don’t know what future posts will cover. However, we promise that this blog will:

  • shed light to latest research topics of the field (hopefully in easy to read format), and
  • describe our team’s way of working towards the top position in the scientific field.

Some of the posts will be more like personal opinions, whereas others describe our teams joint effort and challenges. We also aim to introduce you interesting blog posts from other professionals at VTT who are researching similar or complementary topics.

Embark on this journey with us and enjoy!

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