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Abstract

Although much IS research deals with evaluating and improving existing information systems, researchers are also called upon to think about the future, particularly beyond organizational boundaries. Examples include: the potential impact of socio-technical phenomena such as the digital divide, digital rights management, security, and privacy. One way of forecasting the future is to extrapolate empirically observed relations (e.g. Moore’s law). However, such extrapolations assume that the future is an immutable extension of the present and are usually limited to one or two dimensions. Externalities due to disruptive inventions, changes in regulations, tastes, competition, required skills, and more also need to be considered. This tutorial presents and explains three methodologies that take these possible changes into account to improve our understanding of the future: Delphi, cross impact analysis, and scenarios.

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