ISACA Wellington Chapter has restarted their lunctime series of Think Tank sessions.
Yesterday I took part in the first of a new series. This one was led by Ron Segal and considered the issue of the unfortunate conflation of the terms IS and IT.
Whilst the term ‘information systems’ could simply be a modernisation of the earlier, ‘automatic data processing’, I would like to propose that ‘information technology’ is effectively an update of ‘automatic data processing’, whereas ‘information systems’ is profoundly different.The difference goes something like this. Every business requires systems of information irrespective of any technology at all. Take a time machine journey back to 1900 and auditing information systems is 100% relevant, whereas for information technology this is 0%.Bundling information systems under information technology skews the emphasis from the ‘what’ to the ‘how’. It’s similar to logistics being bundled under the motor pool.Is this a real issue that significantly impacts organisation attitudes and governance, or is it just me being picky?
We seem to confuse:
- Specification of systems of information that are critical to core business; with
- Management of information technology services and assets; and
- Engineering design of information technology.These are all bundled under ‘IT’. Yet arguably 1 is materially distinct from 2 and 3.