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Frequently institutions do not have the internal resources to effectively implement new technologies or satisfy their changing needs. When faced with such limitations, organizations turn to the computer systems design and related services industry to meet their specialized needs.

The computer systems design and related services industry is expected to experience rapid growth, adding 489,000 jobs between 2006 and 2016. Professional and related workers will enjoy the best job prospects, reflecting continuing demand for higher level skills needed to keep up with changes in technology. Computer specialists accounted for 54 percent of all employees in this industry in 2006. [ Source - Career Guide to Industries ]



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Firms enlist the services of an establishment in the computer systems design and related services industry on a contract or customer basis for help with a particular project or problem, such as setting up a secure Web site or establishing a marketplace online. Alternatively, firms may choose to contract out to a computer services firm one or more activities, such as the management of their onsite data center or help-desk support.

Services provided by this industry include custom computer programming services; computer systems design services; computer facilities management services, including computer systems or data processing facilities support services; and other computer-related services such as disaster recovery and software installation. In 2006, there were 159,000 establishments in the computer systems design and related services industry. Custom programming establishments write, modify, test, and support software to meet the needs of a particular customer. These service firms may be hired to code large programs, or to install a software package on a user’s system and customize it to the user's specific needs. Programming service firms also may update or reengineer existing systems.

Systems design services firms plan and design computer systems that integrate computer hardware, software, and communications technologies. In addition, they often install these systems and train and support the people who use them. The systems’ hardware and software components may be provided by the design firm as part of integrated services, or may be provided by third parties or vendors.

Computer facilities management services usually are offered at the customer’s site. Establishments offering these services provide onsite management and operation of clients’ computer systems and facilities, as well as facilities support services.

Electronic business, referred to as e-business, is any process that a business organization conducts over a computer-mediated network. Electronic commerce, referred to as e-commerce, is the part of e-business that involves the buying and selling of goods and services online. With the growth of the Internet and the expansion of e-commerce, some service firms specialize in developing and maintaining sites on the World Wide Web for client companies. Others create and maintain corporate intranets or self-contained internal networks that link multiple users within an organization by means of the Internet or, more recently, wireless technology. These firms design sophisticated computer networks, assist with upgrades or conversions, design programming features for clients, and engage in continual maintenance. They help clients select the right hardware and software products for a particular project, and then develop, install, and implement the system, as well as train the client's users. Service firms also offer consulting services for any stage of development throughout the entire process, from design and content development to administration and maintenance of site security. [ Source - Career Guide to Industries ]