Business Information Systems

The focus of research in Business Information Systems is on methods and theories that help enterprises to reorganise their structures and processes with innovative information systems and make them more competitive. As a discipline, business information systems play a central role in scientific monitoring and evaluation of the digital transformation.

With its five chairs, Business Information Systems in Essen is one of the largest centres for the discipline worldwide. Its research encompasses strategic IT management, digital business models and start-ups, enterprise modelling, integrated sector-specific IT solutions, and software engineering.

Business Information Systems and Enterprise Modelling

The work of Prof. Ulrich Frank’s Chair is concerned with methods and meta-methods, both of supporting integration and management of existing IT infrastructures and their interaction with operational processes, and of developing innovative enterprise software that responds to the challenges of digital transformation. The research focuses on building and use of enterprise models that give an integrated representation of the action system of an organisation and its information system. It is therefore concerned with the challenging analytical and design problems that accompany the development and use of information systems in enterprises; at the same time, it also makes way for new, self-referential application system architectures that not only help users to understand the systems better but also enable them to adapt the systems to potentially very different requirements (“user empowerment”). In an effort to make building and modifying enterprise models and enterprise software more efficient, the group has focused its research on the development of domain-specific modelling languages and corresponding tools. A particu­larly important outcome of this work is a language architecture that has been developed in collaboration with Prof. Tony Clark from Aston University (UK) and comprises both a metamodelling and a metaprogramming language. This development puts the research group among the world’s leading contributors to the fields of enterprise modelling and multi-level modelling.

Information Systems and Strategic IT Management

The Chair of Prof. Frederik Ahlemann has the following main research interests:

Digital Transformation

Smart Cities

Project Management (PM) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM)

Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM)

IT Strategy and Strategic IT Benchmarking (SITBM)

IT Governance (ITG).

It works in each of these fields from both an explanatory/behavioural and design-oriented perspective.

The Chair also successfully undertakes industry-funded research projects and transfer activities, which enables it to conduct empirical theoretical research while also testing applied research findings. Examples of particular successes include developing a DIN standard for project data exchange and developing the digital master plan and e-government strategy for the City of Duisburg.