Global information system
There are a variety of definitions and understandings of a global information system (GIS, GLIS), such as
- A global information system (GLIS) is an information system which is developed and / or used in a global context.
- A global information system (GLIS) is any information system which attempts to deliver the totality of measurable data worldwide within a defined context.
Common to this class of information systems is that the context is a global setting, either for its use or development process. This means that it highly relates to distributed systems / distributed computing where the distribution is global. The term also incorporates aspects of global software development and there outsourcing (when the outsourcing locations are globally distributed) and offshoring aspects. A specific aspect of global information systems is the case (domain) of global software development. A main research aspect in this field concerns the coordination of and collaboration between virtual teams. Further important aspects are the internationalization and language localization of system components.
Tasks in designing global information systems
Critical tasks in designing global information systems are
- Process and system design: How are the processes between distributed actors organized, how are the systems distributed / integrated.
- Technical architecture: What is the technical infrastructure enabling actors to collaborate?
- Support mechanisms: How are actors in the process of communication, collaboration, and cooperation supported?
A variety of examples can be given. Basically every multi-lingual website can be seen as a global information system. However, mostly the term GLIS is used to refer to a specific system developed or used in a global context.
Specific examples are
- Systems developed for multinational users, e.g., SAP as a global ERP system
- Global Information Systems for Education: The Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange
- Support systems for global cooperation: Systems, e.g. Palantir
- For the specific case of data integration : http://data.un.org, http://www.internettrafficreport.com, http://www.unhcr.org/statistics.html, http://www.globalhealthfacts.org/ etc.
More information / courses
- Global Information Systems at the University of Jyväskylä
- MSIS 647 - Global Information Systems course at the University of San Francisco 
- Resources on Global Information Technology at AIS World
- Pawlowski, J.M.: Globale Informationssysteme (Global Information Systems). In: Kurbel, K., Becker, J., Gronau, N., Sinz, E., Suhl, L. (Eds.): Online Lexikon Wirtschaftsinformatik Online Encyclopedia Business Information Systems, Oldenbourg, 2008.
- Sangwan, R., Bass, M., Mullick, N., Paulish, D.J., Kazmeier, J. (2006): Global Software Development Handbook, Auerback Publications, 2006. ISBN 0-8493-9384-1
- Carmel, E. (1999): Global Software Teams: Collaborating Across Borders and Time Zones (High Performance Cluster Computing) - ISBN 0-13-924218-X
- Garton, C., Wegryn, K. (2006): Managing Without Walls: Maximize Success with Virtual, Global, and Cross - Cultural Teams, MC Press, US, 2006.