Business informatics is an emerging discipline that combines various aspects of business management, information technology, and informatics. The goal of is to fully integrate computer science and business administration into one field. This particular discipline began in Germany, and its popularity has spread throughout central Europe with many institutions of higher learning offer four-year degrees in the field. It is a discipline that changes and develops rapidly, and its teaching must therefore be constantly revised and reconsidered.
A field like business informatics is interdisciplinary in nature, meaning that it combines several areas of study and expertise into one. To fully understand what it is, it is helpful to understand its components. The first of these, informatics, is broadly defined as the science of processing information. Increasingly, it involves processing and analyzing information digitally, with the aid of computers. Informatics is often used synonymously with the term "computer science," although the latter has a somewhat more specific meaning. Medicine and biology, as well as the social sciences, can use informatics to advance their work.
Information technology, also called IT for short, is the second component of business informatics, and this varies slightly from informatics. IT usually refers to the setup, configuration, and maintenance of computer systems, including hardware and software applications. Students of business informatics are taught not only to understand and explain IT-related problems, but also to propose and work through solutions, possibly by applying new strategies and technologies. Business management or administration constitutes the third component of the field, and those who study this discipline learn and develop attributes such as leadership and strategic thinking, which are important abilities for anyone in management to have.
Someone who is properly trained in business informatics can act as a go-between or a bridge to connect management with the information side of a company. By understanding both sides, qualified experts will ideally be able to help both those who build and those who use computers and information systems. It is speculated by many that companies structured around this discipline will increasingly become the norm. This is particularly the case with businesses in the life sciences industries, which need large amounts of data storage, and need it to work flawlessly. As business becomes more driven by quality of information, most companies will likely see the need to apply business informatics to some degree, in order to remain competitive.