14th European Conference on Information Systems - ECIS 2006
Since it was first held in 1993, ECIS has been established as the most important European conference on information systems and information technology. We are very happy to have the opportunity to organise the 14th ECIS in Göteborg 2006, the first time it is held in Sweden. The tracks and topics are chosen to cover the information systems field with relevant aspects of traditional as well as new research areas.
The theme for ECIS 2006 is Grand Challenges, and certainly we are facing grand challenges. Information technology has become interwoven with almost every aspect of human life. In an increasingly complex organisational reality, organisations have become dependent on information technology both for organising work and for business critical functions. Outside work, a rapid development of IT-use incorporates new kinds of demanding users, like citizens accessing public information and web based services, or consumers using widely diffused tracks like mobile devices. Taken together a plethora of new challenges for developing information systems are at hand, while many of the old problems are still there to be solved.
At societal level information technology is reshaping institutions. New movements challenge the order in the software business as well as the knowledge society at large. Examples are how movements such as Open Source, Open Access and Open Innovation challenge the institutions regulating innovation and intellectual property. They also challenge the models for production and distribution of information and knowledge as we know them. Where this development will end and what will replace the old institutions are open questions.
Still, we have only seen the beginning of the impact of Internet technology on our world. The diffusion of information infrastructure and the increasing use of information and communication technology are integrating the world into one global arena. This may equalize life opportunities across the world, but globalisation is an ambiguous and challenging process that connects and divides, that includes and excludes in ways we cannot easily control. Grand challenges lay ahead.