This term, Åsa and I are giving, for the very first time, a course titled “Complex IT Systems in Large Organizations”. The aim of this course is to familiarize Computer Science students with the real-life complexity of buying, designing, implementing and maintaining IT systems in large organizations. Our wish is above all to increase students’ awareness for the main issues specific to each one of these processes and to make them acquainted with some of the problem-solving strategies used by practitioners today in order to overcome them. We have chosen to expose them to three different professional domains: healthcare, administrative bodies and private companies.
Our course concept revolves around students’ interviewing practitioners from each domain working with one or several of the processes mentioned above. In addition to the interview itself, the students’ task will be to summarize their findings into a brief written report accompanied with a short film. This material will then be shared between course participants in order to enable each student to learn about all the different domains and processes covered by the course.
We are currently looking for practitioners within healthcare, administration and private companies willing to be interviewed by our students, and hope that our project will stir interest among those different communities. Better preparing students to the intricacies of IT management in large organizations through making them benefit from lessons learned by more experienced practitioners is crucial if we want to improve the way IT systems are being handled – at all levels – in those big and complex organizations.