In this paper, we analyze possible interferences that occur when developing information systems for cyberphysical systems – hybrids containing legacy technical components and added IT modules. In particular, the enhancement of electricity systems through IT components, resulting in smart grid and smart home solutions, is experiencing increasing adoption rates in advanced and developing countries alike. Due to the substantial interdependence with and reliance on often decades-old legacy infrastructure, these cyberphysical systems present particular opportunities and challenges for the associated information systems. We propose that one channel through which information systems improve cyberphysical systems is by enhancing the components of the legacy system with new features. Introducing the Design–Interference Model, we conceptualize IS design for cyberphysical systems and outline possible obstacles and interferences associated with it. Using a simulation experiment for a smart grid application as a showcase, we derive insights into how to address these challenges. We condense these results into actionable advice that, first, seeks to validate existing guidelines for design-oriented research, second, extends and focuses them on cyberphysical system applications and, third, provides guidance to researchers and practitioners in this increasingly relevant area of information system development.

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Keywords cyberphysical Systems, design science, Design–Interference model, smart grid, sustainability
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Journal European Journal of Information Systems
Brandt, T, Feuerriegel, S, & Neumann, D. (2017). Modeling interferences in information systems design for cyberphysical systems: Insights from a smart grid application. European Journal of Information Systems, 1–14. doi:10.1057/s41303-016-0030-1