Walk out the door of any major urban hospital and you will soon find yourself among buildings full of physiotherapists, medical device suppliers, specialists’ offices, pharmacies, diagnostic imaging and, helpfully, malpractice lawyers. Welcome to the hospital suburbs.
Other businesses and industries have suburbs too. Spreading out from the centre of enterprise software and hardware suppliers are suburbs teeming with integrators, programmers, trainers, installers, power experts, designers, conferences and user groups.
Some suburbs are deliberate, like the ecosystems engineered by Apple or the Linux communities; others come about because the organizations at the centre either don’t want to provide the ancillary goods and services, or haven’t managed to figure out a way to do it profitably. A few have ceded the suburbs to outside suppliers as they go along. IBM is a good example of an organization that has created suburbs by stepping away from former territories in retail and consumer hardware. Read the rest of this entry »