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Università degli Studi di Verona Facoltà di Economia. IS Research Topics Past, Present, Future. Nicholas C. Romano, Jr . SDA Bocconi Information Systems Division Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi Spears School of Business

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IS Research Topics Past, Present, Future

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    1. Università degli Studi di Verona Facoltà di Economia IS Research Topics Past, Present, Future Nicholas C. Romano, Jr. SDA Bocconi Information Systems Division Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi Spears School of Business Management Science and Information Systems Oklahoma State University – Tulsa

    2. Talk Outline IS what art thou? (Finding one’s place in the Discipline) Historical IS Topics 1968-2009

    3. Information Systems TaxonomiesFinding one’s place in the Discipline Computing Taxonomies

    4. Information Systems TaxonomiesFinding one’s place in the Discipline Computing in terms of EVERYTHING ELSE

    5. LEVEL LIFE NONLIFE Worlds Astronomy Astrobiology 8 Universes Astrophysics Cultures Societies Countries Lib info Science Geography Anthropology 7 Supernatural Political science Philosophy Metrology Communications systems Economics History Education Metasystems Management Fine arts Linguistics science Cities 6 Communities Systems Environmental science Computer Science Families Sociology 5 Groups Ethics Religion Genealogy Subsystems Individuals Cognitive Botany 4 Organisms Psychology Ecology Physical Science science Zoology Machines Cells Biology 3 Organs Biometrics Genetics Geology Components Chemistry 2 Molecules Chemistry Physics 1 Atoms Physics Table 1. Academic Disciplines (Pure Sciences)

    6. Philosophy Semiotic Broader Linguistics Artificial Intelligence Semantics Biological Cybernetics Information Technology Symbolology Information Science Information Sociology Epistomology Information Economics, Politics, & Law Cognitive Science Social Information Psychology Brain Theory Social Information Management Informatology Library Science Informatics Documentation Archival Study Museology Journalism Mass Media Study Education Information Theory Cybernitics Systems Theory Figure 1. Information Sciences. (Yuexiao, 1988, p. 488)

    7. Taxonomies from industry: • The interests of industry are specifically and vitally focused on applications. • Practitioners have developed perhaps the best application-focused taxonomies. • Such taxonomies characterize user problems for which software solutions are available.

    8. What is computing? Computing means: any technical activity involving computers. Thus, computing includes: • Designing and building hardware and software systems for any of a wide range of purposes; • Processing, structuring and managing various kinds of information; • Doing scientific studies using computers; • Making computer systems behave intelligently; • Creating and using communications and entertainment media; • Finding and gathering information relevant to any particular purpose, and so on. The list is virtually endless, and the possibilities are vast.

    9. Existing Computing Taxonomies • The Computing Benchmark • The British Computer Society (BCS) taxonomy • Computing Disciplines • Roger Clarke’s Disciplines • Boots Cassel’s union of computing related disciplines

    10. Computing Benchmark “The conceptual framework that gives a discipline its coherence and identity; about the intellectual capability and understanding that should be developed, the techniques and skills which are associated with developing an understanding in that discipline; and the level of intellectual demand and challenge which is appropriate to that discipline.”

    11. See: Paul McCullagh - Computing Benchmark Spectrum Communication and interaction Practice Theory Hardware Software • Professionalism and ethics • Processor architecture • Algorithm design and analysis • Modeling and frameworks • Human behavior and performance • Programming languages • Computer Applications • Management and organization • Analysis, prediction and generalization • Structuring of Data and Information • Problem identification and analysis • Operating systems: the control of computers, resources and interactions • Commercial and industrial exploitation • Software tools and packages • Human-computer interaction, involving communication between computers and people • Computer architecture and construction • Computer networks, distributed systems • Design, development, testing and evaluation • Formal methods and description techniques • Device-level issues and fabrication technology

    12. The British Computer Society (BCS) Taxonomy (2006) Professional Topics TOP LEVEL Applications BCS Business sectors Career development Communications Hardware, operating systems and platforms Information systems design IT and society IT-related disciplines Management Security Software and software engineering Academic Topics TOP LEVEL Hardware Computer systems organization Software Data Theory of computation Mathematics of computing Information systems Computing methodologies Computer applications

    13. The British Computer Society (BCS) Taxonomy (2006) • Hardware • Control structures and microprogramming • Arithmetic and logic structures • Memory structures • Input/output and data communications • Register-transfer-level implementation • Logic design • Integrated circuits • Performance and reliability • Computer systems organization • Processor architectures • Computer-communication networks • Special purpose and application-based systems • Performance of systems • Computer system implementation • Software • Programming techniques • Software engineering • Programming languages • Operating systems • Data • Data structures • Data storage representations • Data encryption • Coding and information theory • Files • Theory of computation • Computation by abstract devices • Analysis of algorithms and problem complexity • Logics and meanings of programs • Mathematical logic and formal languages • Mathematics of computing • Numerical analysis • Discrete mathematics • Probability and statistics • Mathematical software • Information Systems • Models and principles • Database management • Information storage and retrieval • Information systems applications • Information interfaces and presentation • Computing methodologies • Symbolic and algebraic manipulation • Artificial intelligence • Computer graphics • Image processing and computer vision • Pattern recognition • Simulation and modelling • Document and text processing • Computer applications • Administrative data processing • Physical sciences and engineering • Life and medical sciences • Social and behavioral sciences • Arts and humanities • Computer-aided engineering • Computers in other systems Academic Topics TOP TWO LEVELS

    14. Cassel’s Union of DisciplinesThe approach • Team consists of leaders from • Computer Engineering • Computer Science • Information Systems • Information Technology • Software Engineering • Merge • Curriculum knowledge units • ACM computing classification scheme • Other schemes as discovered

    15. Problem Twist • Early discussions to merge bodies of knowledge • The topics are only one part of the distinction • Different groups look at the same topics, use the same words, and mean different things • How to include them all in one scheme?


    17. CS IM14 IS 1.6.8 Digital Libraries CS IM10 Distributed Databases… Data Mining CS IM6 Relational Database Design CS IM9 IS 1.6.3 Physical Database Design Normalization IS 1.6.7 Intelligent QueryProcessors… IS 1.6.11 Data and DB Administration CS IM11 Information Storage and Retrieval IS 1.6.13 Information Retrieval CS IM13 CS IM12 Multimedia Informationand Systems Hypertext and Hypermedia CS IM8 Distributed Databases CS IM3 IS 1.6.2 CS IM7 Data Modeling CS IM4 IS 3.3.2 Relational Databases Transaction Processing IS 1.6.6 IS 1.6.4 Data Models Data Modeling Application Interface Integrity CS IM5 IS 1.6.12 Database Query Languages IS 1.6.5 Data Dictionary… Data DefinitionLanguages IS 1.6.1 CS IM2 IS 1.6.9 DBMS: features, functions, architecture DBMS Products IS 1.6.10 Database Systems Database machines and servers

    18. Basic elements • Over the breadth of the combined areas • What are we about? • Hardware • Software • Information • Human related aspects

    19. Four Basic Elements That is not enough to describe all that concerns the computing and information related disciplines - There are too many things that overlap these boundaries HW SW Human Info

    20. The core areas list is holds up: but we need every possible combination of them. HW Human SW HW HW Human Info HW Human HW SW SW HW SW Info Human Human Info SW Info Info Human Info SW But, that does not tell the whole story either.

    21. For much of what we do, a System Viewof the parts is essential HW Human SW HW HW Human Info HW Human HW SW SW HW SW Info Human Human Info SW Info Info Human Info SW System but not enough

    22. Application Context is often an inseparable part of the field. HW Human SW HW HW Human Info HW Human HW SW SW HW SW Info Human Human Info SW Info Info Human Info SW System Application Context but not enough

    23. There is a social context that surrounds all that we do. We neglect it at our peril. HW Human SW HW HW Human Info HW Human HW SW SW HW SW Info Human Human Info SW Info Info Human Info SW System Application Context But, there is more Social Context

    24. Theory and Concepts Design, Combine, Build, Test HW Human SW HW Deploy and use HW Human Info HW Human HW SW SW Administer & Support HW SW Info Human Human Info SW Info Info Human Info SW System Application Context Social Context

    25. Focus on System elements -- other things contract. At another time, the center section could expand, any subsection of the center could expand, etc. SYSTEM APPLICATION Social context

    26. These are Too Broad • The do give a lay of the land • But, none of them helps us to figure out where we belong.

    27. Scientific Disciplines • Types of research [Simon, 1996]: • natural sciences: phenomena occurring in the world (nature or society) • design sciences ~ sciences of the artificial: • all or part of the phenomena may be created artificially • studies artificial objects or phenomena designed to meet certain goals • social sciences: structural level processes of a social system and its impact on social processes and social organization • behavioural sciences: the decision processes and communication strategies within and between organisms in a social system

    28. Regardless of the context, doing computing well can be complicated and difficult. Society needs people to do computing well, Therefore we must think of computing Not only as a profession but also as a discipline.

    29. A Conceptual Map of Disciplines Phenomena Symbolic Mathematics Computer Science Statutory Law Information Systems Design Science Painting Synthetic (exploration and discovery) Activities Analytic (invention and making) Product Design Mechanical Engineering Chemistry Real (adapted from Owen 1997)

    30. Computing provides such a wide range of choices that it is impossible for anyone to become proficient at all of them. Therefore an individual who wishes to become a computing professional requires some focusfor his or her professional life.

    31. Computing is not just a single discipline but is a family of disciplines.

    32. The Computing Disciplines There are many kinds of computing degree programs. There are dozens/perhaps hundreds around the world. Five are prominent today: • Computer Engineering (CE) • Computer Science (CS) • Information Systems (IS) • Information Technology (IT) • Software Engineering (SE) Each one has, or will soon have, a volume of undergraduate curriculum guidelines that is approved and published by one or more international professional and scientific societies.

    33. Computing Disciplines Landscape • Before 1990’s • Significant developments in the 1990s

    34. Computing Disciplines LandscapeBefore 1990’s • 1960s – Computing Degree programs emerged • North America – originally only 3 degrees (alphabetical): • Each with its own well-defined area of work & influence • It was easy (easier) for students to select one: • Computer Science • Software Development expert or Theoretical Computing • Electrical Engineering • Hardware • Information Systems • Use hardware and software toSolve Business Problems

    35. Feature Batch Time-Sharing Desktop Network Decade 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s Location Computer Room Terminal Room Desktop Mobile Users Experts Specialists Individuals Groups Data Alphanumeric Text, numbers Font,Graphs Multimedia Objective Calculate Access Present Communicate Interface Punched Card Keyboard, CRT See & Point Ask & Tell Operation Process Edit Layout Orchestrate Connectivity None Peripheral Cable LAN Internet Owners Corporate Computer Ctrs Divisional IS Shops Dept. End Users Everyone Four Decades of Computing

    36. Computing SpectrumDisciplines Pre-1990s EE + CE CS IS Hardware Business Software

    37. Computing SpectrumDisciplines Pre-1990s Electrical Engineering Computer Engineering Information Systems Computer Science Hardware Business Software

    38. Computing SpectrumDisciplines Post-1990s EE CE CS SE IT IS Organizational Needs Software Hardware

    39. Scope of The Computing Studies And Information Sciences Disciplines Engineering Computer Systems Engineering - CSE Computer Science - CS Information Systems - IS Commerce, Bus. Admin. Engineering Electronic Programming Artificial Financial & Materials Software Graphics Intelligence Cost & Mgt Computer Systems & Devices Engineering Individual & Accounting Algorithms Analysis Architecture Machine Organizational Formal Tools Digital Data Analysis Behavior Language Operating Micro Econ Data Decision Theory Circuitry Systems Structures Engineering Information Support Database Design Management Robotics Systems Signal Concurrency Management Audit Networks Analysis Materials Compiler Project Knowledge IT Management Marketing Science Construction Computational Graphics Management -Based Theory Control & Systems Bus. Law Communication Production Numerical Discrete Math Logic Theory Management Computing Adapted From Roger Clarke

    40. Computing SpectrumDisciplines Post-1990s Computer Science Electrical Engineering Computer Engineering Software Engineering Information Technology Information Systems Hardware Software Organizational Needs Computer engineeringis concerned with the design and construction of computers and computer-based systems. It involves the study of hardware, software, communications, and the interaction among them. Its curriculum focuses on the theories, principles, and practices of traditional electrical engineering and mathematics, and applies them to the problems of designing computers and computer-based devices. Software engineering is the discipline of developing and maintaining software systems that behave reliably and efficiently, are affordable to develop and maintain. Software engineering is different in character from other engineering disciplines, due to both the intangible nature of software and to the discontinuous nature of software operation. It seeks to integrate the principles of mathematics and computer science with the engineering practices developed for tangible, physical artifacts. Information systems specialists focus on integrating information technology solutions and business processes to meet the information needs of businesses and other enterprises, enabling them to achieve their objectives in an effective, efficient way. This discipline’s perspective on “Information Technology” emphasizes information, and sees technology as an instrument to enable the generation, processing and distribution of needed information. Information technology is a label that has two meanings. In the broadest sense, the term “information technology” is often used to refer to all of computing. In academia, it refers to undergraduate degree programs that prepare students to meet the technology needs of business, government, healthcare, schools, and other kinds of organizations. Emphasis is on the technology itself more than on the information it conveys. • Computer sciencespans a wide range, from its theoretical and algorithmic foundations to cutting-edge developments in robotics, computer vision, intelligent systems, bioinformatics, and other exciting areas. We can think of the work of computer scientists as falling into three categories: • They design and implement software. • They devise new ways to use computers. • They develop effective ways to solve computing problems.

    41. Information Systems vs. Computer Science • Computer Science has its concentration in the study of algorithms, computation, software, and data structures. Its roots are in mathematics and engineering. Programming is only one aspect of computer science. • Information Systems is an extension of management and organization theory that applies technical capabilities and solutions initially developed by computer science, to tasks in organizations. It involves the study of information – its structure, representation,and utilization. It focuses on the information needs of organizations for a wide variety of business processes, management, decision-making, and planning purposes.

    42. Putting Things in Context – The Picture Business Environment System that uses information technology to capture, transmit, store, retrieve, manipulate, and display information. Firm Business Process Hardware, software, and networks that make Information Systems possible. Information System Consists of a large number of interdependent business processes that work together to generate products of services in a business environment. Includes the firm and everything else that affects its success, such as competitors, suppliers, customers, regulatory agencies, and demographic, social, and economic conditions. a related group of steps or activities that use people, information, and other resources, to create value for internal or external customers. Information Technology

    43. Information Systems Taxonomies • Reference Disciplines & as a Reference Discipline • Differentiation from IT and Social Disciplines • IS Keyword Classification of Research • Questions and Topics for Researchers and Executives

    44. Other Disciplines Other Disciplines Communications Architecture Engineering Psychology Accounting Agriculture Economics Marketing Banking Information Systems Computer Science IS as a Reference Discipline in discourse with other reference disciplines (Adapter from Baskerville and Myers, 2002)

    45. Differentiating IS from other IT-related disciplines (Adapted from ACS 1992) Fundamental Computer Science Computer Systems Engineering Information Systems Applied ‘Soft’ ‘Hard’

    46. Differentiating IS from other Social Science disciplines (Adapted from ACS 1992) Fundamental Sociology Anthropology Psychology Information Systems Applied ‘Soft’ ‘Hard’