My Personal Thoughts on Research and Teaching:
Today technology enables organizations to transform business, business processes, the nature of work, markets and employee and customer experiences. The technology is changing entire industries like retail stock brokering and the securities markets. It has the potential to make dramatic improvements in the quality of health care delivery with simultaneous reductions in cost. IT is the basis for many new industries and business models, like the search engine and portal. The academic Information Systems field needs to concentrate on studying these transformations rather than narrow topics only of interest to a small group of faculty.
We also need to frame our courses and teaching around the exciting transformational nature of the technology. The skills that a business student needs today include an understanding of the capabilities of information technology and a deep knowledge of business processes and models. With this preparation, the student can apply the technology to making major improvements in the way organizations operate.
The objective is to innovate and generate ideas for existing and new business models. Managers have to provide guidance in bringing innovative ideas to the marketplace, and they have to make decisions about the features of the innovation including marketing and funding development. Think of a system like OnStar which links drivers to a central service center using GPS technology and satellite communications. Managers at this GM subsidiary took a giant risk creating this system, and made a large number of decisions in bringing it to market.
The study of information systems in a business school, then, is not about programming or the construction of a web site. It is about understanding business and technology, and finding ways to apply IT to creating new and more effective organizations.