Business information systems (ICB)

The study of business information systems is a particularly interdisciplinary field. It combines the application-oriented approach of computer science with the development of applications systems while exploring the utilisation of IT systems in organisations from the perspective of business administration, even incorporating sociological aspects into its work. At its core, it studies phenomena of the digital transformation in a business context. The business information systems research group at the Essen campus particularly focuses on the issues inherent to transforming institutions, which only become clear through an integrative understanding of the technical artefact (from the creators’ and users’ perspective) and the related economic, social and individual (and, as such, sociological) implications. The digital-transformation process is more than the mere utilisation of information technology to increase the efficiency of existing processes. Rather, it requires a comprehensive transformation entailing not just the reorganisation of business processes but the development of whole new digital products, services and business models. Market-oriented digital innovations, supporting innovation systems, IT infrastructures and organisational handling systems must be designed in a closely interlinked structure, and corresponding management concepts must be developed in parallel. Although the dominance of design-based study of business information systems (design science) is considered one of the strengths of German business informatics, the research conducted at the Essen campus promotes methodological pluralism by incorporating empirical (behavioural science) and construction-oriented approaches.