Keynote Speaker

From IS Planning to IS Strategizing: Lessons from the Past; An Agenda for the Future

By Professor Robert Galliers, University Distinguished Professor at Bentley University, Boston, USA, and Professor of Information Systems at Loughborough University, UK

Bob Galliers_IS2015


One of just two IS management issues to remain in the top 10 of those listed in periodic surveys of CIOs over four decades relates to “Strategic planning for IS/IT”. Why is this? IS researchers have had something to say on the topic since the 1960s. Many frameworks have been developed – and applied in practice. Our understanding of the nuances and the complexities of, and the obstacles to Strategic IS Planning (SISP) as it is often called are surely well known. But how often are the lessons drawn from research taken on board in practice? Fellow researchers bemoan the abstract nature of much of our work; many focus on an aspect only of the broad canvas that represents the topic.
In his keynote address, Professor Galliers will consider these questions and reflect on an in-depth study of the literature on SISP – spanning 50 years of endeavour, and covering over 1,000 articles that have appeared in our journals. He will introduce concepts associated with IS strategizing – the processes and practices associated with this on-going, iterative activity. Taking an holistic perspective, and a leaf from those in organization studies who advocate “the practice turn”, he will argue for IS strategizing-as-organizing:  The point is no longer that organization doesn’t necessarily follow strategy; rather, it is that organization is the strategy … In a fast-moving world, it is better to invest in fertile strategy-making than in finite strategies. Strategies need to be made and re-made continuously.” (Whittington & Melin, 2003: 37).



Bob Galliers is The University Distinguished Professor at Bentley University, Boston, USA, having previously served as Provost for the period 2002-2009. He also holds a fractional appointment as Professor of Information Systems at Loughborough University in the UK. Prior to joining Bentley, he held Professorships at the LSE and Warwick Business School in the UK (where he was Dean for the period 1994-1998), and at Curtin University in Australia. He holds an AB (honors) degree in Economics from Harvard University, an MA degree with distinction in Management Systems from Lancaster University, and a PhD in Information Systems from the LSE. He was awarded a DSc honoris causa by Turku University, Finland in 1995. He has had published 11 books and over 80 articles in major journals. His work centres on IS strategizing and has been cited approximately 7,500 times according to Google Scholar. He received the AIS LEO Award for outstanding lifetime achievement in 2012 and earlier became an AIS Fellow in 2003. He is the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Strategic Information Systems