Keynote Speakers

Setting South Africa up for the Digital Revolution

The Socio-Digital Construction of Reality: New Challenges for IS Research

Presented by

Prof Josef Langerman

Josef Langerman is the Executive Group Head for Engineering Transformation at Standard Bank. In this role he responsible for the transformation of Standard Bank Group IT into a high velocity customer centric organisation. This entails changing the ways of working to Lean, DevOps and Agile methodologies, as well as establishing the culture and industry communities that will enable this large scale transformation. He is passionate about how these new ways of working can make South Africa competitive in the global context.

As founder of the FastFish Forum and DevOps days he aims to bring together big IT, academia and suppliers to make a positive change in the South African ICT industry. He holds a PhD in Computer Science and is a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Johannesburg where he teaches Honnours classes and supervises post-graduate students. He teaches Masters courses at various academic institutions. He has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and various other publications.

Presented by

Prof Michael D Myers

Michael D. Myers is Professor of Information Systems and Head of the Department of Information Systems and Operations Management at the University of Auckland Business School. His research focuses on the relationship between IT and people in an organizational context, and how this context can be studied. He has published 24 articles in A* journals as ranked by the Australian Business Deans’ Council. Michael won the Best Paper award (with Heinz Klein) for the most outstanding paper published in MIS Quarterly in 1999. This paper has been cited over 4000 times. He previously served as Senior Editor of MIS Quarterly from 2001-2005, as Senior Editor of Information Systems Research from 2008-2010, and currently serves as Senior Editor of Information & Organization and Pacific Asia Journal of the AIS. He also served as President of the Association for Information Systems (AIS) in 2006-2007 and as Chair of the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) Working Group 8.2 from 2006-2008. Michael is a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems.


We are living in a markedly different technological environment than when the IS field first emerged several decades ago. Whereas information systems used to be just a reflection or representation of reality, now these systems are creating and shaping reality. Hence in this talk Michael will argue that our reality is now socially and digitally constructed. Human experience today is one where the digital and the physical are seamlessly and inseparably interwoven. Our experience of people, places, things and time is mediated by embedded computing assets, ubiquitous computing assets, algorithm-based services and data analytics. The implications of a socio-digitally constructed world are that IS scholars need to revisit some of the core concepts on which our intellectual work is built, for example, agency, sociomateriality, the meaning of reality, trust, adoption, and performance. This new world also challenges us to think about the role of technology in society. Michael will suggest that we have no option but to embrace the new socio-digital construction of reality and change our institutionalized practices accordingly.