Academics and professionals from around the world will be attending Europe’s most important European conference on information systems research at the University of Portsmouth this week (23-28 June).

The European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) is an annual conference that provides a platform for panel discussions, networking and the sharing of the latest ideas and scientific research into information systems.

Information systems is the academic study of systems that support operations, management and decision-making through complementary networks of hardware and software that people and organisations use to collect, filter, process, create and distribute data.

While information systems typically include a technology component, they are not purely concerned with technology, focusing instead on how people inform themselves and each other with or without technology – and how this can be done better.

Dr Peter Bednar, Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing at the University of Portsmouth and ECIS 2018 co-chair, said: “The field of information systems deals with real problems in real organisations in the context of the true activities that people actually do – and how this real world organised activity can be supported with technology.

“We are focusing on how to help people to change their organised activity for the better, often with the help of some technology. One could say that a lot of focus is on how to help businesses or public sector organisations, such as the NHS, to move toward a higher level of business excellence in their sector. This involves not only how to use technology to achieve their goals and objectives, but also how to develop work practices and the use of technology.

“It is not necessarily how to develop IT or software – this would be computing and not information systems. It does include how to develop better ways of doing things, including the clever use of technology to support a human activity and the development of better decision making practices.”

ECIS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and is being held in the UK for the first time since the inaugural event, also hosted by the UK, in 1993.

ECIS 2018 is hosted by the Systems and Information Systems Research Group in the University of Portsmouth’s School of Computing. The theme of the conference ‘Beyond Digitization – Facets of Socio-Technical Change’ reflects that information systems consist of both human and technical aspects. Topics that will be discussed include the digital society, healthcare information systems, social media and e-business.

There are also three pre-ECIS conferences taking place over the five-day event:

  • Economic and Industrial Espionage Conference
  • UK Systems Society Conference
  • IFIP WG 8.6 Conference

More information about ECIS 2018 is available on the conference website: