Services computing is a computer discipline which sits between traditional information technology (IT) systems and business services. It acts to provide businesses with solutions to their assorted computer needs, including web programming and services; cloud computing, which involves allowing network users access to a server-side pool of shared resources; consulting methods for businesses without a dedicated IT department; and business process utilities. The primary goal of service computing is to ensure that a business's computer-related requirements are met in a timely and efficient fashion.
The emerging field of services computing is a branched subfield of traditional information technology services. The difference is that, unlike traditional information technology firms, which are focused upon a far broader spectrum of services than handling standard business needs, firms involved in services computing are specialists, strictly dedicated to handling business concerns. This is akin to how a cardiologist is a specialist of a general surgeon. In services computing, these business-related concerns can range from setting up an individual network to modeling a business plan with information technology tools. As specialists, individuals practicing in the field of service computing are theoretically better at managing and handling the basic needs of business.
Services computing is an example of the general trend for increasing specialization within a discipline to fill a market niche. Niche marketing is the practice of focusing one's business efforts on a very specific and identifying group, segmenting the market into additional parts. In theory, this provides a business involved in services computing — as opposed to general IT practices — with a competitive advantage. Just as an individual would likely prefer to have heart surgery conducted by a specialist as opposed to a general practitioner, the hope is that individuals will also prefer to employ technicians, engineers, and consultants who have a stated interest and extensive experience in business affairs, as opposed to an IT consultant with a broader background.