This category covers establishments primarily engaged in supplying computer related services, not elsewhere classified. Computer consultants operating on a contract or fee basis are also classified in this industry. Establishments primarily engaged in producing prepackaged software are classified under SIC 7372: Prepackaged Software; and those engaged in offering data processing courses or training in computer programming and in computer and computer peripheral equipment operation, repair, and maintenance are classified under SIC 8243: Data Processing Schools.
Computer Systems Design Services
Other Computer Related Services
In the 1980s, a handful of companies like IBM Corporation and some smaller rivals dominated this industry. Corporate downsizing and reengineering in these companies forced economic power to shift from a handful of monopolies to hundreds of smaller high-tech specialists. The power in the marketplace also shifted during the 1990s from those making the computers to those using the computers. A direct and striking result of this trend was the explosion in demand for computer services.
In fact, the growth of firms in the computer related services industry was in double digits toward the end of the twentieth century. Companies increasingly turned to computer specialists to handle their disk conversions, database developments, and troubleshooting. The popularity of the information superhighway and its effects on U.S. companies meant a larger role for consultant services. Although many companies developed extensive in-house computer centers from the 1960s through the 1980s, in the 1990s and early 2000s they turned to computer service firms in increasing numbers, particularly to handle special assignments. Some found that it was more cost effective to lay off or reassign their own computer personnel while using third-party data processors, systems integrators, or computer consultants. Computer services firms made it their responsibility to stay on the cutting edge of technology and to offer services that most in-house departments could not match. By 2006, more than 60,000 establishments, averaging $2.5 million in annual revenue, operated in the miscellaneous computer related services category, generating a total $144.9 billion.
The miscellaneous computer related services segment was heavily dominated in the mid-2000s by consulting services, yet this sector was only a small part of the computer professional services industry, which remained the dominion of computer specialists. Within this computer services category, the single biggest component was computer system design services, followed by computer facilities management services. Computer consulting continued to grow throughout the 2000s, and was expected to experience further expansion into 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor.
Those computer related services not classified under other SIC codes included hardware and software requirement analysis and diskette conversion services. Some consultants marketed themselves to businesses as experts in a particular area. Those who performed hardware requirement analysis thrived in the computer-centered economy by recognizing the need for business to select the best computer equipment for its goals. These analysts were usually hired on a contract basis to spend several weeks or months working with a company to select the company's computer hardware. Often they discovered that existing equipment was not satisfactory and that either upgrades or complete overhauls were necessary to bring the company up-to-date.
The National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB) is a nonprofit trade organization, based in Washington, D.C., whose members include skilled professional consultants or programmers. Founded in 1987, NACCB supports legislation, provides job fairs and model legal contracts for members, and encourages professional standards among its members. NACCB also lobbies Congress to consider the needs of independent contractors and employees in the industry.
The Independent Computer Consultants Association (ICCA) is a nonprofit trade association based in St. Louis that was founded in 1976. Its members are experts in hardware and software. ICCA publishes tips for hiring computer consultants as a support for its members. It also compiles industry statistics, offers insurance programs for member companies, and develops standard consulting contracts.
Computer related services consultants perform...