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Communications of the Association for Information Systems

Author ORCID Identifier

Samuli Laato: 0000-0003-4285-0073

Matti Minkkinen: 0000-0002-6406-8093

Matti Mäntymäki: 0000-0002-1981-566X

Denis Dennehy: 0000-0001-9931-762X

Abstract

Advancements in hardware and software have propelled machine learning (ML) solutions to become vital components of numerous information systems. This calls for research on the integration and evaluation of ML development practices within software companies. To investigate these issues, we conducted expert interviews with software and ML professionals. We structured the interviews around information systems development (ISD) models, which serve as conceptual frameworks that guide stakeholders throughout software projects. Using practice theory, we analyzed how software professionals perceive ML development within the context of ISD models and identified themes that characterize the transformative impact of ML development on these conceptual models. Our findings show that developer-driven conceptual models, such as DevOps and MLOps, have been embraced as common frameworks for developers and management to understand and guide the ML development processes. We observed ongoing shifts in predefined developer roles, wherein developers are increasingly adopting ML techniques and tools in their professional work. Overall, our findings underscore that ML technologies are becoming increasingly prominent in software projects across industries, and that the incorporation of ML development in ISD models is an ongoing, largely practice-driven, process.

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