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Applications of information technology (IT) have in no doubt had significant impact in every stage of service provision, production, delivery, receipt and quality. Today, the greatly increased use of IT by service providers has in many ways changed the nature of service delivery. The dynamism and rapid changes in IT which progress from traditional business computing to mobile and pervasive computing and which is now tending towards ubiquitous computing have posed serious challenges to service globally. Service in the industrial era was well understood. It was considered distinct to product and limited by geographical locations and technological constraints. However, as we are entering the knowledge era, where knowledge has become the main competitive advantage, the distinction between services and products are blurring with increase application of information technology, and there seems to be no limit to what could be achieved with technology. Dynamism in the production of information technology also requires corresponding dynamism in its applications to the service provision. However, there is lack of adequate attention to these issues in information systems research and practice. There is little understanding of how the rapid changes and developments in IT could affect service provision. Using the four characteristics of service - intangibility, inseparability (of production and consumption), perishability and heterogeneity, this paper examines service provision, the current trends in ubiquitous computing and the possible changes it could have on service provision.
Date of Conference: 5-8 Jan. 2004