Debate has persisted over the raison d’être of the Information Systems (IS) discipline. There are many facets to this complex issue, including two closely linked ones, namely rigour versus relevance, and the relationship between academics and professionals. While there has been much introspection from IS researchers as to the apparent state of play, there has been no empirical research conducted to illicit the practitioner perspective. Based on a framework of the current literature, this paper explores the situation from the practitioner perspective through in-depth interviews. The findings provide new insights into the academic-practitioner relationship, highlighting aspects of the existing understanding and extending it in ways that will prove critical in assisting the resolution of this long-term problem.