By University of Salford Business School’s Dr Mohammed Ali, Lecturer in Digital Business and Programme Leader in Business Management with Innovation and Technology.

In the ever-evolving landscape of global industry, Information Systems (IS) have emerged as pivotal catalysts of progress. Harnessing modern technologies, these systems have reshaped business processes by optimising supply chains, empowering individuals, and integrating modern infrastructures that set forward-thinking organisations apart.

This evolution has underscored the significance of comprehending Contemporary IS—a fusion of people, processes, and technologies collaborating to gather, process, store, and share information. This synergy equips modern enterprises with informed decision-making, real-time activity monitoring, and alignment with prevailing business trends.

While discussions around IS have been abundant in various business contexts, there is an equally essential application: IS in research and development, especially in the realm of modern IS researchers. In response, the book “Information Systems Research Foundations, Design, and Theory” embarks on a journey to uncover the practical dimensions of research design within the dynamic IS landscape. It places emphasis on IS research concepts, analytical processes, and contemporary methodologies essential for dissecting IS research.

Written by Dr Mohammed Ali, an esteemed figure in the IS domain, the book introduces novel ideas that bridge contemporary IS applications with research designs. Through case studies and real-world examples, the book delves into the pragmatic implications that can support specialised fields within the IS domain. This includes exploring cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, big data, and other innovations that enhance comprehensive analyses of present-day IS challenges.

Amid the digital age’s progression, the intersection of Big Data and Industry 4.0 and 5.0 plays an integral role in the landscape of contemporary IS research. The advent of Big Data, characterised by immense volumes of information, combined with Industry 4.0/5.0’s emergence—a new industrial revolution marked by smart factories and cyber-physical systems—has redefined the paradigm of data analysis. This confluence of advancements creates a mosaic of opportunities for IS researchers. The fusion of data streams from IoT devices and Industry 4.0/5.0’s automation capabilities ushers in an era of profound insights and predictive potential. This crossroads propels contemporary IS research beyond traditional confines, opening fertile ground for exploration.

“Information Systems Research: Foundations, Design, and Theory” transcends its role as a mere textbook; it stands as a guiding compass through the intricate terrain of contemporary IS research. The book offers a comprehensive roadmap, navigating readers through methodologies, strategies, and tools essential for impactful research amid shifting social paradigms and a rapidly evolving global context.

This textbook is not confined to the present; it serves as a stepping stone into the future. Its foundation becomes a launchpad for forthcoming IS research designs. Given the swift pace of technological evolution, staying attuned to contemporary trends is paramount for IS researchers to ensure the relevance and effectiveness of their work.

The textbook accommodates academia, students, practitioners, and all those intrigued by the multidisciplinary aspects of contemporary IS. Whether delving into information management, digital business, ICT, or information science, this book bridges theoretical frameworks with practical implementation.

The book is segmented into distinct sections, each serving as a compass for the multifaceted journey of contemporary IS research. The first section delves into the historical backdrop of IS research, tracing its evolution over time. The second section explores practical applications, shedding light on methodological approaches and strategies that empower researchers to navigate the multidisciplinary dimensions of IS effective. The third section focuses on the art of analysis, furnishing a framework for planning data analysis procedures and offering an overview of analytical methods and tools relevant to information management, digital business, ICT, and information science. Ethics are paramount in research, shaping the fourth section, where data protection, confidentiality, and ethical procedures are underscored as integral to maintaining research integrity. The final section is devoted to the development of findings and the culmination of the IS research project, guiding researchers through the process of documenting results and concluding their research endeavours.

Lastly, the book was a collaborative endeavour, and we extend our appreciation to the reviewers and partners who contributed to its shaping.

In the face of swiftly changing technological terrain, this textbook emerges as a beacon for contemporary IS research. It bridges theoretical foundations with practical application, championing methodological excellence and igniting a flame of knowledge that will continue to illuminate the path for years to come.

About the author

Dr Mohammed Ali is a Lecturer in Digital Business and Programme Leader in Business Management with Innovation and Technology at the University of Salford Business School.

His research interests span the socio-technical and system complexities of information systems and digital disruption. He is also very active in the information systems research community, where he has led three editorial books in the areas of information systems, business and digital transformation, and published articles in areas such as cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, among other areas.

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