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.
In the 1980s, there was a revolution with far-reaching consequences -- a revolution to restore software freedom. In the early 1980s, after decades of making source code available with programs, most programmers ceased sharing code freely. A band of revolutionaries, self-described "hackers," challenged this new norm by building operating systems with source code that could be freely shared. In For Fun and Profit, Christopher Tozzi offers an account of the free and open source software (FOSS) revolution, from its origins as an obscure, marginal effort by a small group of programmers to the widespread commercial use of open source software today. Tozzi explains FOSS's historical trajectory, shaped by eccentric personalities -- including Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds -- and driven both by ideology and pragmatism, by fun and profit. Tozzi examines hacker culture and its influence on the Unix operating system, the reaction to Unix's commercialization, and the history of early Linux development. He describes the commercial boom that followed, when companies invested billions of dollars in products using FOSS operating systems; the subsequent tensions within the FOSS movement; and the battles with closed source software companies (especially Microsoft) that saw FOSS as a threat. Finally, Tozzi describes FOSS's current dominance in embedded computing, mobile devices, and the cloud, as well as its cultural and intellectual influence.
A history of one of the most influential American companies of the last century. For decades, IBM shaped the way the world did business. IBM products were in every large organization, and IBM corporate culture established a management style that was imitated by companies around the globe. It was “Big Blue, ” an icon. And yet over the years, IBM has gone through both failure and success, surviving flatlining revenue and forced reinvention. The company almost went out of business in the early 1990s, then came back strong with new business strategies and an emphasis on artificial intelligence. In this authoritative, monumental history, James Cortada tells the story of one of the most influential American companies of the last century. Cortada, a historian who worked at IBM for many years, describes IBM's technology breakthroughs, including the development of the punch card (used for automatic tabulation in the 1890 census), the calculation and printing of the first Social Security checks in the 1930s, the introduction of the PC to a mass audience in the 1980s, and the company's shift in focus from hardware to software. He discusses IBM's business culture and its orientation toward employees and customers; its global expansion; regulatory and legal issues, including antitrust litigation; and the track records of its CEOs. The secret to IBM's unequalled longevity in the information technology market, Cortada shows, is its capacity to adapt to changing circumstances and technologies.