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Innovating digital systems and services IS2182

This course covers methods, values, attitudes and techniques for building complex digital systems for business and society. It provides an understanding of the need for innovation and rigour.

The course enables students to select and apply relevant methodological approaches to the development of well-designed and innovative digital systems and services.

Prerequisites / Exclusions

Prerequisite: A course that you must have ordinarily attempted all elements of before you are permitted to register for another particular course.

If taken as part of a BSc degree, the following courses must be attempted before this course may be taken:

  • IS1060 Introduction to Information Systems and
  • IS1181 Digital infrastructures for business.


This course may not be taken with:

  • IS2138 Information and communication technologies: principles and perspectives.

Topics covered


  • The changing nature of digital systems and the implications for innovation processes; history of information systems development; process models and their characteristics: the lifecycle model, evolutionary system development, incremental system development; an introduction to innovation and evolution of digital systems.

System innovation within a digital economy: 

  • Opportunities and challenges; identifying and maximizing the benefits of ubiquitous technologies within the business; the changing nature of systems: WebApps, Mobile Apps, Cloud computing; the need for flexible and speedy system development; startups – culture, capital and process.

Agile development: 

  • Agile methods, extreme programming, scrum, agility in organizations: DevOps.

Innovation tasks: 

  • Knowing what to build - acquiring and specifying requirements, identifying and modelling architectural views, component-level design, testing, code generation; creating usable systems - user experience design, structuring and analysing data; object-oriented modelling using UML: the use case diagram, the class diagram, the object sequence diagram, the activity diagram; the deployment diagram.

Trends within the digital innovation process: 

  • Features of good design, object-orientation, reasons for reuse, concept reuse, patterns, component-based system development, cloud computing, development platforms, low-code development, system of systems.

Project management: 

  • Innovation project planning, innovation project control.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • Describe and discuss the expectations, pressures and problems faced when innovating digital systems within today's organisational context
  • Critically assess the processes, tasks, practices, and tools that support digital systems innovation
  • Explain how systems development processes can be applied in innovation
  • Discuss the adoption of agile approaches for innovative system development
  • Explain how mature software engineering practices are incorporated into system and service innovation within contemporary organisations
  • Discuss the relevance of design features and principles within the process of digital systems innovation
  • Assess the role of digital infrastructures in the development of innovative digital systems and services     
  • Identify and discuss the main innovation project activities in the context of today's organisations
  • Demonstrate, through project work, the ability to analyse, design and evaluate a digital system and the ability to write a detailed report on the development process.


Coursework (40%) plus an unseen written examination (60%).

For the coursework project, you have the chance to apply your learning to a real-world problem. You write a short essay describing your approach to the issue, how you applied this in practice, and how you overcame challenges.

You will not need to produce programming. The focus is not on the finished system but on the quality of your process and how successful your documentation would be in developing a digital system.

Essential reading

  • Pressman R.S. and Maxim B.R. Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach. London: McGraw Hill, 2015. (Essential)
  • Beynon-Davies, P. Business Information Systems (2nd ed.). London: Palgrave, 2013. (Supplementary)

Course information sheets

Download the course information sheets from the LSE website.