The Software Industry Special Interest Group (SI SIG) is dedicated to preserving for future generations information about the companies, people, products, and events that shaped the computer software and services industry.
- Identify where materials documenting the industry’s early years still exist and encourage their preservation.
- Identify people who have personal knowledge of events that shaped the industry and support the collection and preservation of their recollections.
- Disseminate information about the industry’s history to historians, researchers, students, industry and government people, and the general public through print and electronic media.
- Encourage and support research on the history of the software industry.
- Make the most interesting materials accessible on this website
Our scope covers all sectors of what was traditionally called the computer software and services industry, including batch and remote processing, software products and software professional services companies, and systems integrators and VARs. The history of these different types of companies is intertwined since many of the most influential companies in the industry spanned multiple types of offerings. What all these companies have in common is that their businesses were based on know-how that is manifested in software.
The focus of the Software Industry SIG is on the history of both the business and the technology because we believe that the vision and creativity required to identify, develop and serve markets for technology is just as crucial as the ability to develop the technology itself. So, while other groups are focusing on the collection of the software (which is also important), the SI SIG is approaching software history from the perspective of how companies identified market opportunities and requirements, developed the technologies needed and then created business models that could succeed in those markets.
Our current emphasis is on companies that were founded before 1990 and wrote software for or provided services using mainframes, minicomputers, small business systems and personal computers. We believe that the history of these companies is the most vulnerable to loss since so many of them have disappeared as a result of mergers, acquisitions, or failed business models. Therefore, our immediate attention is on preserving what remains of the history of these companies and their founders and leaders before it is too late.