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Inspired by this question on DevOps Stack Exchange, here is a question to economists:

For long time being, software engineering and IT operations have been - and I guess they still are - considered to be "services". I.e. the product is after all the time that I can trade and bill. But, now we have many standard software components, and successful works like Kim Gene's "The Phoenix Project" align to industrial methodologies we know from manufacturing, and it seems like "manufacturing-like" teams become significantly competitive. But then, billing hours is not really profitable if I am good, and not competitive if I am not so good.

Now, which type of work is done by computer specialists in software delivery and operations from economical point of view (manufacturing, service or something else)?

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    $\begingroup$ For me it is still a service. Manufacturing is essentially about transforming one kind of stuff into another kind of stuff, with various physical stocks of input stuff and output stuff as part of the process. Managing software engineering or IT services with methods drawn from manufacturing management or production lines might work effectively in certain circumstances, but management in itself is not what makes manufacturing manufacturing. $\endgroup$ – Henry Jun 21 '17 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Henry What do you mean by "For me"? In your opinion this is the way it is included in the GDP by the statisticians? (If so, perhaps back this claim up with a source and make your comment an answer.) $\endgroup$ – Giskard Jun 21 '17 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ @denesp Statisticians certain do treat this as a service. For example in the UK standard industrial classification of economic activities (SIC) 2007 Computer programming, consultancy and related activities is division 62, part of Section J (Information and Communication). Sections G to T are typically regarded as services, while section C is Manufacturing. $\endgroup$ – Henry Jun 21 '17 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ Services can be either manufacturing (made to order) or projects. So the distinction of Manufacturing vs. Projects is imho at a lower level that is it a service. Everyone agrees it's a service, but which kind of service? $\endgroup$ – Evgeny Jun 21 '17 at 18:40
  • $\begingroup$ to differ from manufacturing, there is also Construction smallbusiness.chron.com/… - so working at customer site to build software is Construction? $\endgroup$ – J. Doe Jun 21 '17 at 18:44

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