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Making information systems work

Advancing thinking and debate

 Making Information Systems Work, the thought leadership programme of ICAEW's IT Faculty, is about the successful application of IT by business and government.

What it's all about?

Making Information Systems Work, the thought leadership programme of ICAEW's IT Faculty, is about the successful application of IT by business and government.

It supports informed debate and practice on the basis of three themes – value, trust and standards.

What we are thinking about

We are working on an issues paper around standards in public data. This will build on our 2011 annual lecture on open data and will consider the key elements to improving the quality of data in the public sector.

We welcome the input of all those interested in the area.

Email: informationsystems@icaew.com

What we've done

The Making Information Systems Work programme looks at how technology has transformed the way we do business and interact with each other.

It studies the challenges businesses face to implement new information systems, as they become ever more complex.

The programme is based on three themes:

Over the time of this programme, ICAEW has published two Making Information Systems Work reports:

What's new?

What's New About Big Data?

Big data is creating many opportunities for businesses to derive greater insight from data, predict future outcomes more accurately and automate non-routine tasks. But the use of big data and analytics needs to be appropriate and subject to robust challenge. As a result, it’s important to build our understanding around what big data means, and this short report aims to inform decision makers in business and government about the opportunities and risks in this area.

Cyber security webinar

Watch our our IT faculty's thought leadership webinar recording on how businesses can protect themselves against cyber threats.

IT standards and the digital economy

Strong standards are vital to the growth of the digital economy. But strong standards can also lead to a world with no choice and all-powerful companies or governments. What is the best way to develop standards? How do we balance the tensions in strong standards? And where does the power in the process sit? This short issues paper aims to stimulate discussion on IT standards and inform the decisions of four different groups around standards – consumers, businesses, technology companies and governments.


Over the past 10 years, we have seen a strong trend towards the development of technical standards for a range of financial and business reporting. Whilst all share the basic objective of improving the efficiency and transparency of reporting processes, they differ in their complexity, ranging from simple discrete file formats to the detailed and all-encompassing approach of XBRL.


In order to sustain value from IT systems, individuals and organisations need to have confidence in the security of sensitive information, as well as how it is being used and shared.


Any investment in IT should be underpinned by the creation of value. However, many businesses continue to find it difficult to deliver value in practice, or to demonstrate that value has been achieved.