Book traces history and challenges of information systems in Portugal
The Portuguese Association for Information Systems (APSI), based at the University of Minho, has launched the book “Information Systems – Diagnosis and Perspectives”, with 50 authors summarizing 30 years of teaching and research in this area in Portugal and pointing paths. The work, which may become a reference, is coordinated by professors Isabel Ramos and Rui Dinis Sousa, of the School of Engineering of UMinho (EEUM), and Rui Quaresma, of the University of Evora.
“We wanted to reflect on the past to project the future, in an unprecedented collaboration of academics, companies and organizations related to APSI, who shared their vision and experience on information technology applications and systems,” explains Isabel Ramos, who is also president of APSI. The 448 pages of Edições Sílabo include 16 chapters and three major parts – the evolution of this discipline, the industry’s view, and future scenarios.
“Despite three decades, the area of information systems is still confused with the areas of management, computer science, or engineering, even in college departments and in funding channels,” highlights Isabel Ramos. “Information systems does not focus on technology itself, but on how society takes advantage of technology and innovations – and this book is also fundamental for that, it shows our identity in a stronger and more coherent way,” she adds. The reader can find the main trends in research and teaching in the sector, explore how these have accompanied economic and social developments, and scrutinize the transformations resulting from advances in artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
APSI was born in 1992 by professors Altamiro Machado, Luís Amaral and João Álvaro Carvalho, who chaired it until 2014, being then relayed by Isabel Ramos. It has 120 members from all over the country and is also the Portuguese Pole of the Association for Information Systems, which has over 5000 members worldwide. APSI has been promoting the annual CAPSI conference since 2000, with the next one in the fall and for the first time extramurally, in Cape Verde. In addition, it has awarded research grants with the support of the FCT and, among other actions, develops with COTEC Portugal a project for digital skills management in Industry 4.0.
In this area, UMinho created the undergraduate degree in Management Informatics in 1990/91, renamed Information Technologies and Systems during the Bologna Process, which later became an integrated master’s degree and is now autonomous in bachelor and master’s degrees, following the guidelines of the Ministry of Education. The PhD in Information Technologies and Systems broadens the offer, anchored in the EEUM Information Systems Department. The research at the Algoritmi Center, also at the Azurém campus in Guimarães, has generated several projects, awards, partnerships and articles with international impact.
Isabel Ramos talks on RUM R&D about this book. To listen here.