Organizations and Information Systems – so Different and so Similar.
Prospects of (True) Trans-Disciplinary Studies, download slides in PDF
Professor Ulrich Frank, University of Duisburg-Essen
Abstract. Analysis and design of organizational information systems require substantial knowledge about the peculiarities of software development. At the same time, those systems make literally no sense, if they do not reflect an appropriate conception of the organization they are part of. Nevertheless, research on system development of information systems if often focused on technical aspects without a differentiated account of organizational studies. On the other hand, research in the fields of organizational psychology and sociology treats organizational software systems usually as a black box. While the complexity of the subject demands for separation of concerns, there are good reasons to aim at an integrated perspective on organizations and information systems. That makes sense from a pragmatic point of view, because organizations are often penetrated by information systems to a degree that almost prevents conceptualizing them without accounting for information technology. In addition, it is especially attractive from an academic perspective. In this talk, it will be shown that organizations and information systems share essential properties, while they are distinguished by a few principal characteristics. Accounting for these commonalities and differences does not only foster a deeper understanding of both, but also helps with supporting reuse, resilience, flexibility and integration.
Ulrich Frank holds the chair of Information Systems and Enterprise Modelling at the Institute of Computer Science and Business Information Systems at the University of Duisburg-Essen. His main research topic is enterprise modelling, i.e. the development and evaluation of modelling languages, methods and corresponding tools. In recent years, he focused especially on multi-level domain-specific modelling languages and corresponding tools. Further areas of research include method engineering, models at run time, methods for IT management and research methods. Together with Tony Clark from Sheffield University, he conducts the project “Language Engineering for Multi-level Modeling” (LE4MM). The project aims at further developing an integrated meta-modeling and meta-programming environment and, based on that, at the development of new self-referential enterprise systems that integrate enterprise software with conceptual models of themselves and the context they operate in at run time. Ulrich Frank is on the editorial board of the journals “Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architectures”, “Business & Information Systems Engineering”, “Software and Systems Modeling”, “Information Systems and E-Business Management”, and the “Journal of Information System Modeling and Design”. He worked as a research fellow at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose and had assignments as visiting researcher/professor at universities in various countries. Ulrich Frank served as the spokesman of the German Business Informatics Community within the German Informatics Society. He is the German representative of the IFIP Technical Committee TC8 and a review board member of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German National Science Foundation).
How can Conceptual Modeling help to support IT Business Resilience?
Professor Oscar Pastor, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia
Abstract. From an IT perspective, developing resilient-by-design systems should be based on new methods of software production that accurately represent the relevant business characteristics. “Conventional programming” should be viewed as a more abstract activity, where the “conceptual alignment” between business properties and their software representation counterpart is fully preserved by design. This would reinforce the link that is required between business processes and customer needs to guarantee that the products or services associated with those business processes meet the needs of the users. An additional relevant problem is how to manage all the potential business processes changes in order to react efficiently and correctly to them.Conceptual modeling (CM) can provide the right working environment to face effectively and efficiently this problem. Using CM techniques, the conceptual resilience of businesses can be addressed by defining models at the adequate level of abstraction, together with the corresponding model transformations. This “conceptual programming” perspective can guarantee the resilience of businesses and their information systems in an integrated manner. The keynote will focus on exploring this CM-based dimension that can support a sound concept of IT business resilience. It will emphasize how to connect BPM models with executable conceptual schemas, and how to provide a working environment that adapts to business changes supporting conceptual traceability.
Oscar Pastor is Full Professor and Director of the Research Center on “Métodos de Producción de Software (PROS)” at the Universidad Politècnica de València (Spain). He received his Ph.D. in 1992. He was a researcher at HP Labs, Bristol, UK. He has published more than three hundred research papers in conference proceedings, journals and books, received numerous research grants from public institutions and private industry, and been keynote speaker at several conferences and workshops. Member of the SC of conferences as ER, CAiSE, ESEM, ICWE, CIbSE or RCIS, his research activities focus on conceptual modeling, web engineering, requirements engineering, information systems, and model-based software production. He created the object-oriented, formal specification language OASIS and the corresponding software production method OO-METHOD. He led the research and development underlying CARE Technologies that was formed in 1996. CARE Technologies has created an advanced MDA-based Conceptual Model Compiler called IntegraNova, a tool that produces a final software product starting from a conceptual schema that represents system requirements. He is currently leading a multidisciplinary project linking Information Systems and Bioinformatics notions, oriented to designing and implementing tools for Conceptual Modeling-based interpretation of the Human Genome information.