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The main objective of this paper is to extract, formulate and analyse the general rules and principles that govern the evolution of key information technologies (IT), the information society (IS), as well as e and the economy using a holistic approach. In order to elaborate a model suitable for forecasts and recommendations we have defined eight to ten major elements of an IS that characterise its evolution in an adequate way, such as population and its demographics, legal system and IS policies, IT in use, etc. The evolution of the IS is then modelled as a discrete-continuous or discrete-event system, where the mutual impacts of each of the elements are represented within state-space models. Technological trends form inputs, while feedback loops allow us to model the influence of technological demand on IT, R&D, production, and supply. The technological characteristics of the IS evolution modelled in this way can provide clues to IT providers about future demand. They can also give R&D and educational institutions some idea on the most likely directions of development and demand for IT professionals. As an example, we will model the evolution of decision-support systems and their impact on technological progress, consumption patterns and social behaviour in Poland. The results presented here constitute a methodological input to an IS/IT foresight exercise carried out in Poland during the period 2010-2012 and financed by the ERDF.
Date of Conference: 27-29 Oct. 2010