business Informatics

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The business computer science deals with the digitization in business, administration and society. Business informatics is a science that deals with the development and application of information and communication systems in commercial enterprises. From the point of view of computer science , business informatics is an applied computer science . Due to its interdisciplinary nature , it has its roots in economics , especially business administration , and computer science. Findings and methods from the social sciences , in particular sociology and psychology , as well as related scientific disciplines such as cybernetics , system theory and communications engineering are relevant for research, teaching and practice in business informatics .

Business informatics is only classified as a science in the DA-CH region . Internationally, and especially in the USA , similar concepts are known as Information Systems (IS) .

Classification as science

Although business informatics has many characteristics of a so-called interface or bridging discipline that is open to other disciplines, it has its own statement area: It deals with theories, methods, tools and develops intersubjectively verifiable knowledge about information and communication systems. It was created in order to be able to develop and operate increasingly complex systems. It is thus primarily a real science , but also has elements of a structural science . Since business informatics deals with the development of information systems , it is also understood as an engineering science. Primarily, however, she deals with information and communication systems, which, like in computer science, are not necessarily understood as computer-aided systems. Rather, business informatics develops models for real, social and economic systems and tries to use them to formulate requirements for information systems and to generate information models . It can therefore also be understood as a social science. Business informatics uses systems theory to develop information systems . The focus is on economic aspects. At many university locations, business informatics is therefore assigned to the economics or social and economic sciences. At universities of applied sciences, business informatics was included roughly half in computer science and half in business administration.

The knowledge pyramid (based on the work of Aamodt and Nygård (1995))

Business informatics also deals with how economically usable data , information and knowledge can be extrapolated from such systems and how these factors can be provided by systems. Please refer to the knowledge pyramid shown on the right, which shows the relationship between the above. Factors made clear. The management of knowledge has gained enormous importance in companies and universities in recent years. The development of the Internet in particular has made efficient processes and methods available for generating, managing and disseminating knowledge. E-learning systems and wikis in particular are powerful tools in this area.

Business informatics has established itself as an independent academic course or as a focus subject in other courses and is an integral part of private and public research. According to a study by Ulrich Frank and others, there were already over 200 professorships for business informatics at universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2002.

Objectives of business informatics as economics and engineering

A more specific objective of business informatics in its capacity as economics or engineering is to explain the effects of information systems and to investigate the question of how to optimize the design of application systems. In the long term, this aims to develop a fully automated operation ( Mertens '95 ). However, since full automation is not always feasible or sensible, it often remains with partial automation , i.e. H. a change in the division of labor between man and machine, but which is below the level of full automation. A more concrete perspective is provided by the distinction between administration and disposition systems , which together form the group of operational systems.

In 2010, ten professors of business informatics published the memorandum on design-oriented business informatics. A further 111 business administration professors identify with this position determination, who deal with business informatics at least in a significant part of their research and teaching activities. The memorandum advocates an expansion of the design orientation while at the same time demonstrating scientific rigor by means of recognized methods of acquiring knowledge. The authors of the memorandum have the following objectives:

  • Rules for rigorous research and safety for researchers
  • Criteria for reviewing magazines and conferences
  • Criteria for the selection of young academics and appointment procedures
  • Criteria for the evaluation of scientists and research institutions
  • Positioning of design-oriented business informatics in international research

Business information systems

Business informatics deals with the planning, development, implementation , operation, further development and economic use of information and communication systems that are used for the formalized support of ongoing business processes and for structured strategic decision-making in companies and in public administration. Non-business-related applications such as finite element systems for calculating stresses in technical components or applications that are not used in a consistent formal framework due to their generalization (e.g. word processing software) are not part of the classic field of business informatics.

Business intelligence Information management Information / communication systems Internet economy Process management

Tools from other sciences that have been further developed within business informatics:

Other areas :

It should be noted, however, that some sub-areas do not yet represent a clear branch of research and are therefore still to be classified as keywords.

Influence of other sciences

Computer science

The area of ​​computer science that is particularly relevant for business informatics is practical computer science . Their application means the use of operating systems and computer networks . This also opens up the development-relevant areas of practical computer science. By means of algorithms and data structures are based on programming computer programs such. B. application systems created. By planning, analysis and design of software within the Software Engineering ( Software Engineering ) is the scientific and professional approach to software development. Databases are required for permanent data storage ( persistence ) .

Business administration

From a business point of view, business informatics can initially be divided into the large sub-areas of operational functional support and strategic decision-making support. The task of business informatics is to cover both areas in such a way that the operational processes are supported in the best possible way, while at the same time as much data as possible is lost as a starting point for strategic decisions. From the application side, business informatics therefore covers the functions shown in the following table.

Operational functional support Strategic decision support

Other influences

Other sciences that have significantly influenced the emergence and development of business informatics are engineering, communication and systems science as well as psychology and sociology . There is also a close relationship with industrial engineering , especially in the areas of materials management , production planning and control and logistics . Several of the scientists who are considered to be co-founders of business informatics studied industrial engineering and were familiar with the interaction between economics, social sciences and technical sciences.

Influence on other sciences

In economics , the branch of Computational Economics has developed, but it only uses a part of the methods of computer science and business informatics to support economic methods.

In the area of social work , social informatics tries to adapt the methods and approaches of business informatics to the special needs of social work, especially of service facilities.


Historically, business informatics goes back to research and teaching with the terms electronic data processing , business (or business) data processing and, most recently, business informatics. In this respect, business informatics differs from its sister discipline, Information Systems (IS), which is predominant in the English-speaking world , and which has historically been more focused on behavioral aspects (e.g. use, acceptance of information systems). However, the lively participation of German business IT specialists in the international IS community shows that the historical differences between the disciplines are increasingly disappearing.

Beginning in the 1950s

In the mid-1950s, the first IT courses were integrated into business administration studies ( Technical University Berlin , Free University Berlin , University of Cologne, etc.). In 1958, the Institute for Automation and Business Research (IAUF) was founded at the University of Freiburg on the initiative of Ernst Peter Billeter . In 1961 Bernhard Hartmann published the monograph Business Basics of Automated Data Processing , the first scientific work to document the awareness of a specific problem area from which business informatics originated and developed. In 1963 Erwin Grochla founded the Business Administration Institute for Organization and Automation ( BIFOA ) at the University of Cologne. In 1966 he published the monograph Automation and Organization , which shows the fundamental problems and tendencies of the effects of automation on the economy and organizational theory. In the same year, Peter Mertens published the first habilitation thesis , which is thematically assigned to business informatics ( inter-company cooperation and integration in automated data processing , Hain publishing house, Meisenheim am Glan). In 1968 the first business management chair with a focus on corporate data processing was established at the Johannes Kepler University Linz and in 1970 the endowed chair for organizational theory and data processing at the University of Karlsruhe . In 1971, under the direction of Hartmut Wedekind, the first research group dealing with computer science in a business-oriented manner was set up at the TU Darmstadt .

From 1974 the universities of TU Darmstadt , Johannes Kepler University Linz and TU Vienna as well as the Furtwangen University of Applied Sciences established the business informatics course. The Scientific Commission for Business Informatics (WKBI) was founded in 1975 in the Association of University Lecturers for Business Administration, which was renamed the Scientific Commission for Business Informatics (WKWI) in 1987 . In 1981 the first study and research guide for business and administrative informatics was published on behalf of the WKBI. In 1983 the Society for Computer Science expanded its subject areas to include Department 5 Business Information Systems . In 1988 the working group for information systems at universities of applied sciences (AKWI) was founded.

The first attempt to establish a business informatics conference on a scientific level was the conference series The Computer as an Instrument for Research and Teaching in Social and Economic Sciences , initiated by Lutz J. Heinrich , for the first time in 1985 at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, the last time in 1989 carried out at the University of Innsbruck .

Productivity Paradox in the 1970s and 1980s

In the 1970s and 1980s, businesses invested more than ever in IT systems in the hope of significant increases in productivity. The hoped-for increases in productivity fell well short of the high expectations; in fact, the aggregate productivity growth rates actually decreased in real terms.

"We see the computer age everywhere except in the productivity statistics."

- Robert Solow (1987)

The main reasons for these misconduct were:

  • Error in measuring productivity
  • Time delay between introduction and implementation of IT and the start of its effect
  • Management errors in the implementation of information and communication technologies and a lack of coordination between operations and IT

Development from 1990

In 1989 the first scientific journal of business informatics with the name WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK , first year 1990, was founded as the successor to the journal Angewandte Informatik , which was named in 1972 as the successor to the journal electronic data processing founded in 1952 . The editors included Hans Robert Hansen , Lutz J. Heinrich , Karl Kurb , Peter Mertens , Dietrich Seibt, Peter Stahlknecht and Norbert Szyperski .

In 1991 the WKWI and the Gesellschaft für Informatik drew up framework recommendations for diploma courses in business informatics at universities. In 1993 the first open business informatics conference took place at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster and has since taken place annually as the International Business Informatics Conference or Multi- Conference Business Information Systems (MKWI) . Also at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in 1997, the first specialist conference on the scientific principles of business informatics took place. In the same year, the business informatics working group at universities of applied sciences, together with the IT department day, issued a content recommendation for business informatics courses at universities of applied sciences. In 2009 the International Conference on Business Information Systems was held for the first time outside of Germany in Vienna (Austria).

Since the early 2000s, business informatics has developed into administrative informatics , which is part of the public administration field .

The ERCIS in Münster

The first faculty , in the name of which "business informatics " is used, was established in 2001 at the Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg (faculty business informatics and applied computer science). In 2004 the Research Center for Information Systems, the European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS) was founded at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster.

In 2005, the Gesellschaft für Informatik from the business informatics department published the framework recommendations for bachelor's and master's degrees in business informatics at universities. Neither in 2006 nor 2007 was a business informatics sketch submitted for funding under the Excellence Initiative requested. In 2007, a specialist commission on behalf of the Scientific Commission for Business Informatics developed framework recommendations for university education in business informatics, which were confirmed by the Society for Informatics.

The international student exchange network IS: link was founded by the University of Duisburg-Essen in 2010 , which is intended to give exclusively business informatics students the opportunity to spend an efficient semester abroad at affiliated partner universities and thus to increase intercultural networking - especially in the area of ​​business informatics - to contribute.

Problems in companies through business informatics

As the productivity paradox in the 1970s and 1980s shows, significant problems can arise when introducing IT systems and implementing IT projects (e.g. software projects) in companies. The following problem areas are often encountered:

  • Requirement problem : unrealistic project goals, uncontrolled expansion of the project scope without a plan that allows such expansion;
  • Estimation problems: inadequate time planning, no planned process for a new estimate in the event of a change in the project flow, no sensible reviews;
  • Quality problem: random quality tests instead of an overarching control process that ensures quality is implemented throughout the project;
  • Team productivity problem : poor team productivity, which leads to the fact that many work processes have to be repeated because the original result is insufficient;
  • Project management problems: missing or incorrect planning, performance values, assessment of the influence of changes and problems etc .;
  • Evaluation problems : inadequate target-related evaluation and assessment of objects on the basis of a system of decision-relevant properties (evaluation criteria);
  • Cultural problems: other, non-Western cultures have different ideas about work processes and working relationships; For example, in some traditional East Asian cultures so much emphasis is placed on good relationships that problems that arise are not explicitly or insufficiently named or concealed.


Current study situation

In Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria and Switzerland, business informatics is offered as a course at universities , technical colleges and vocational academies .

Since 1999, it has been possible to obtain the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science or Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in business informatics in German-speaking countries , which replace the previous diplomas. Not least because of the profiling of universities required by politics, almost every degree program has some special features. The structure of the study models can be divided into a regular structure - as it is implemented at most universities - and a special structure.

  • Regular study models:
    • Bachelor: 6 to 8 semesters. Some courses include an optional or mandatory or more foreign or semester .
    • Master: another 2 to 4 semesters. Either deepen a bachelor's degree in business informatics or to expand knowledge in the field of business informatics without a previous study of business informatics. There are also various master’s courses that deal with a sub-area of ​​business informatics. A semester abroad or several semesters abroad are increasingly becoming an integral part of the curriculum, especially in the master’s program, in order to take account of the international environment in which economics and IT take place.
  • Special study models:
    • Integrated forms that enable a Bachelor's and Master's degree in four years.
    • In Austria also the graduate engineer (Dipl.-Ing.) After 10 theory semesters in a Bachelor / Master structure.
    • Some universities offer the opportunity to acquire a Bachelor's or Master's degree while working. These include, on the one hand, offers as part-time face-to-face study (e.g. evening studies), and on the other hand, there are various distance learning offers at a distance university or distance technical college in the field of business informatics .
    • In recent years, dual courses of study have increasingly emerged at universities, technical colleges and vocational academies.

The language of instruction in German-speaking countries is predominantly German. Some courses of study offer optional courses in foreign languages, mostly English; some courses of study require a specified proportion of credit points acquired in English within a bilingual study system or must be completed entirely in English. For admission to these foreign language courses, i. d. Proof of appropriate language skills in the form of an internationally recognized test certificate.

Appropriate training is also offered at vocational academies , some in the tertiary education sector, or administrative and business academies . In addition, private academies, which are not themselves entitled to award academic degrees, also offer courses in business informatics in cooperation with state universities.

Furthermore, there is the possibility of studying business informatics as a subject or major within a degree in business administration, business education , computer science, information science , economics or industrial engineering.

Expired forms of study

Previous academic degrees from universities, colleges and colleges are the

  • Business IT specialist (FH): 6 to 7 theoretical semesters and 1 to 2 semesters outside of studies in a company
  • Univ. Business IT specialist (abbreviated Dipl.-Wirt.-Inf., Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Inf., Dipl.-Wirt.-Inform. Or Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Inform.): Standard period of study 9 to 10 semesters - practically often at least 11 semesters and usually 1 internship semester
  • Mag. Rer. soc. oec., DI / Dipl.-Ing., Austria: Depending on the university and study plan, around eight to ten theoretical semesters, although these study plans were abolished in 2001, but can still be completed.

In some cases, the names of the degrees are supplemented specifically for the university.


After a finished degree or master program may be within a doctoral study at universities the degree of Doctor or Ph.D. can be obtained, usually in the field of business informatics. For business informatics graduates, doctoral studies in other subject areas, such as in business administration, computer science or economics, are also possible.

Vocational training as a business IT specialist


Technical schools and vocational schools , business schools and vocational colleagues offer the mostly two-year school education of state-certified business IT specialists or state-certified IT specialists - specializing in business and state-certified IT assistant (vocational schools and vocational colleges).

The education and technology centers of the chambers of crafts provide training for operating computer for business data processing (HWK) or Business Administration for Information Technology (HWK) on.


In Austria, business informatics (WINF) - also called digital business here - is a compulsory subject in vocational schools and forms part of the canon of computer science classes .


The University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland HES-SO Wallis-Wallis has been training bachelor's degrees in business informatics since 1986 . This course takes place at the School of Economics in Sierre .

There is an apprenticeship as a computer scientist EFZ , the specialization takes place either through the further education to the dipl. Business IT specialist HF at a higher technical college or through a course at a technical college . The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is the first university in Switzerland to have its own IT department with courses in IT, business informatics and digital ideation.

Career prospects for business informatics with a university degree

Graduates of a master’s degree in business informatics can work in research as a doctoral candidate at a university. There are different areas of application in business, which can vary depending on professional experience. A typical area of ​​activity for a business informatics specialist is consulting . There he can work in strategic as well as tactical IT consulting. Strategic occupational fields are e.g. B. to be found in IT strategy, in IT portfolio management or corporate architecture, whereas business IT specialists on the tactical level z. B. the IT architecture, in particular the analysis, the design, the tests and the acceptance of IT-based solutions or generally to the project management.

In addition, there are various options in the industry in management positions ( CIO , chief architect, project manager , IT strategist) or in important, leading positions in IT (enterprise architect, solution architect, project manager , test manager, test architect, business analyst , business process modeler ) to take action.

Organizations, associations and clubs

See also


Web links

Wikibooks: Regal: Economics  - Learning and teaching materials
Wiktionary: Business informatics  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Digitization of business and information systems. Retrieved July 3, 2019 .
  2. cf. Lutz J. Heinrich: Business informatics: Introduction and foundation. P. 14.
  3. ^ Claus Rautenstrauch, Thomas Schulze: Computer science for economists and business IT specialists. Springer, 2002, ISBN 3-540-41155-0 (read book online on Google Books)
  4. ^ Claus Rautenstrauch, Thomas Schulze: Computer science for economists and business IT specialists. Verlag Springer, 2002, ISBN 3-540-41155-0 , p. 4. (Read book online on Google Books)
  5. Michael Bächle , Stephan Daurer, Arthur Kolb: Introduction to Business Informatics: A Case Study-Based Textbook , Edition 4, Verlag Walter de Gruyter , 2018, ISBN 9783110469332 p. 7 [1]
  6. Aamodt and Nygård: Different roles and mutual dependencies of data, information, and knowledge - an AI perspective on their integration.
  7. Ulrich Frank, Carola Schauer, Rolf T. Wigand: Different Paths of Development of Two Information Systems Communities: A Comparative Study Based on Peer Interviews. In: Communications of the Association for Information Systems. Vol. 22/2008, Article 21.
  8. Hubert Österle, Jörg Becker, Ulrich Frank, Thomas Hess, Dimitris Karagiannis, Helmut Krcmar, Peter Loos, Peter Mertens, Andreas Oberweis, Elmar J. Sinz: Memorandum on design-oriented business informatics. In: Journal for Business Research. Vol. 62, No. 6, 2010, pp. 664-672. (English full text under Memorandum on design-oriented information systems research ( Memento from July 15, 2014 in the Internet Archive ))
  9. Hubert Österle, Boris Otto: Konsortialforschung: A method for the collaboration between research and practice in design-oriented business informatics research. In: Business Informatics. Vol. 52, No. 5, 2010, pp. 273-285. ( online )
  10. Alice Robbin: Rob Kling In Search of One Good Theory: The Origins of Computerization Movements.
  11. ^ Ulrich Frank: Information technology and organization. In: Georg Schreyögg, Axel v. Werder (Hrsg.): Concise dictionary of corporate management and organization. 4th edition. Schäffer-Poeschel, Stuttgart 2004.
  12. Lutz J. Heinrich: The Chronicle of Business Information Systems . In: History of Information Systems . Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg 2012, ISBN 978-3-642-28142-6 .
  13. ^ History of business informatics - Encyclopedia of business informatics. Retrieved September 15, 2019 .
  14. cf. The computer as an instrument for research and teaching in the social and economic sciences. Austrian Computer Ges. Vienna, 1989. ISBN 978-3-486-21468-0
  15. economic computer science at colleges - the technical framework: a position paper of the Working Group Economics computer science at colleges, Fachbereichstag computer science at colleges (FBT-I) Series FBT-I 9/97 ( Memento of 13 November 2007 at the Internet Archive )
  16. ^ Frank Finkler: Conception of a government information system . Gabler Verlag, 2008, ISBN 978-3-486-56766-3 .
  17. Business informatics and applied informatics. OFU Bamberg, accessed on August 2, 2020 .
  18. Foundation of the ERCIS ( Memento of May 9, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 2.0 MB)
  19. Management & Data Science. FH Lüneburg, accessed on August 2, 2020 .
  20. Data and Knowledge Engineering. OVGU Magdeburg, accessed on August 2, 2020 .
  21. Overview of part-time business informatics courses
  22.  ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Studying business informatics while working , example HWZ@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  23. dual business informatics courses at
  24. bahk Wien , HAK für Wirtschaftsinformatik - digbiz (Digital Business) ( Memento from June 6, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  25. College for Business Information Systems (Digital Business) at commercial academies [archive] | HAK.CC. Retrieved August 2, 2020 .
  26. Bachelor of Science HES-SO (BSc) in business informatics. Retrieved June 21, 2019 .
  27. Development of business administration as a university discipline . Association of University Lecturers for Business Administration, accessed on August 2, 2020 .
  28. Introduction. Business informatics working group at universities of applied sciences, accessed on August 2, 2020 .