Change is inevitable for the environment of information systems (IS). Many problems arise from these changes ranging from communication problems among the stakeholders to conforming the IS to the changes. Maintaining an IS is increasingly difficult and expensive as more changes are incorporated. Hence IS failure is likely to be due to their not being flexible enough to handle change. Failures also relate to inadequacies in identifying future requirements. An IS that cannot be changed is essentially a failure.
The paper is divided into two parts; the first part looks at future requirements and their prediction while the second part discusses the future requirements and change can be incorporated into the system. A number of techniques for identifying future requirements, some formal and others informal have been presented in the paper i.e.: future analysis, risk analysis and lateral thinking. Using future analysis generates greater insight into the problem area, giving a better understanding of probable future scenarios and future requirements of an information system. Using risk analysis, one may be able to identify “general responses” to several problems and get some idea of the trade-off between expected risks and costs. Some of the lateral thinking techniques can be used as tools within more formal techniques or can be used on their own as quicker alternatives. Some form of analysis of future requirements early in the information systems development process would be beneficial, as it is likely to produce more appropriate information systems and reduce maintenance costs.
Similarly, there are various techniques that can be used in making information systems more flexible. The techniques can be classified as good analysis, design, and programming practices. The paper presents information systems development as a whole and suggests a number of techniques which cover the stages of the development of an information system.
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