The technological concerns of the IS field are intimately linked to the political, social, economic, and ethical demands of the virtual society. Metcalfe (2000) notes that the time is fast approaching when laminated programming paradigms are replaced with computational fabrics, moving IS and IT applications to a new and significant level.
This brief report has identified a small number of the critical issues which directly impact upon IS at the present time. The literature on the field expands exponentially each and every year, and as more is learned about what IT an IS can do, new questions invariably emerge. From ethical codes to research and development needs and on to policymaking and discipline integration, IS is at a crossroads in its development. The actions that take place over the course of the next several years will determine the field's future.
While each of these disciplines, says Griffiths (2000), has in common a focus on the phenomenon of information as the object of research, education, and even practice, they still tend to have distinct cultures which function in relative isolation. An early study by Machlup and Mansfield (1983) indicated that such specialties tend to have their own languages that describe the same entities using different words. Consequently, what is critically needed in the field of IS is an integrated vocabulary or lexicon that will provide for the integration of each of these disciplines. The second dimension identified by Griffiths (2000) that requires further work is involved with the three building blocks of IS - people, knowledge, and tools. It is the belief of Griffiths (2000) that coordination of disparate tools, disciplines, or knowledge bases and professionals is necessary if all stakeholders in the new IS are to be well-served. Organizations such as the ASIS can and should play a significant role as a multidisciplinary forum which can spur the continued development of the information disciplines.