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Innovating the Information Systems Discipline

01 Dec 2011

The need for communities, organisations and cities to have more resilient information systems in light of threats such as natural disasters and urban growth has been discussed by experts gathered at the University of Sydney Business school this week.

Internationally renowned Professor of Information and Process Management, Lynne Markus from Bentley University, USA and Chief Technologist from IBM Australia, Glenn Wightwick addressed these issues at the 22nd annual Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS) held on the University campus this week.

This year the theme of the conference is Identifying the Information Systems Discipline and is co-chaired by the Head of Business Information Systems at the University of Sydney Business School, Associate Professor Philip Seltsikas and his colleague Associate Professor Deborah Bunker.

ACIS is the premier conference in Australasia for Information Systems academics and covers technical, organisational, business and social issues in the application of Information technology.

More than 180 IS academics attended the two-day conference from 13 different countries including Australia, New Zealand, USA, South Africa, Sweden, Finland, Germany, UK, and Ireland.

Acting Dean of the Business School, Professor Tyrone Carlin, officially opened the conference where delegates discussed ways that the Information Systems Discipline needs to change in order to increase the field's clarity and appeal to students and other stakeholders.

Professor Markus said The Information Systems Industry is in perpetual change and conferences such as this are important for educators to set the agenda about important global issues.

"The mere fact that someone owns an i-phone does not make them an expert and it is vital that as IS academics we take the lead in educating the wider community about the importance of designing effective IS infrastructure."

"This conference has personally been very good for me to see how global IS issues translate into a local context," she said.

Associate Professor Seltsikas said: "This year the conference committee has worked with the IS community at large to focus on what the IS discipline means to all of us."

"The challenge of identifying what lies at the heart of our identity has resulted in a high quality and diverse conference and we'll hopefully make significant in-roads into the debate about the articulation and recognition of the what the IS discipline is all about."

Another agenda item for discussion during the conference was around the subject of Work Integrated Learning where industry and academia came together to set an agenda for educators and policy makers.

Further information about the conference is available at the Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS) website.

Lynne Markus

Tyrone Carlin

ACIS 2011 attendees