Chapter 4

Towards Conceptual Clarification of Information System and Fourth Industrial Revolution

Chukuigwe, Nwakaego Ph.D and Opara, Dumo Nkesi Ph.D

Department of Management, Department of Office and Information Management, Faculty of Business Studies, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

 

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Introduction

Information systems (IS) involve a variety of information technologies (IT) such as computers, software, databases, communication systems, the Internet, mobile devices and much more, to perform specific tasks, interact with and inform various actors in different organizational or social contexts (Sebastian and Dubravka, 2015). Of general interest to the field of IS are therefore all aspects of the development, deployment, implementation, use and impact of IS in organizations and society Cecez-Kecmanovic, Galliers, Henfridsson, Newell, and Vidgen, 2014). However, the IS field is not primarily concerned with the technical and computational aspects of IT. What matters to IS instead is how technology is appropriated and instantiated in order to enable the realization of IS that fulfill various actors’ – such as individuals, groups or organizations – information needs and requirements in regards to specific goals and practices. While this is widely recognized in the IS community, the term ‘information system’, which is foundational to the IS field, is rarely explicitly defined and examined, and is typically taken for granted (Lee, 2014).  This lack of conceptual unity makes it necessary for us to examine what information system really is, in this piece of work. Industry 4.0 defines the automation and data exchange trend in manufacturing technologies. The term was introduced in 2011 by a group of German business, academic and political representatives who were crafting an initiative aimed at improving the manufacturing industry’s competitiveness as per the German high-tech 2020 strategy. According to their recommendations, industrial manufacturing processes require fundamental improvements to accommodate cyber-physical systems that comprise of smart machines, production facilities and storage systems that can autonomously trigger actions, exchange information, and control each other independently.

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