Globalisation has a strong impact on information systems both from a development and usage point of view. Development is done by geographically distributed teams, with team members representing different cultures. In addition, the information systems are targeted at widening markets to get new clients and business - either as they are or as localized variations. In the case of traditional information systems, the needs related to globalisation are more or less manageable, because the clients are at least to some extent known, as well as their needs and preferences. Cloud technology and cloud-based solutions are replacing traditional information systems at an accelerating speed. In some cases, the question is only one change to an execution platform, but more often also opening up the information system usage to a “faceless” mass of users over the Internet – the information system (IS) becomes an SaaS-based WIS (Web Information System). In addition to SaaS-based solutions, the WIS category covers a wide variety of web services available in a more or less open manner; as a consequence the ability to react to the needs of a multi-cultural set of users causes new challenges to the developers and service implementation. Our paper initiates discussion on the challenges related to a WIS in a multi-cultural context. The complexity is structured by recognition of six concerns (viewpoints), which are handled in an interrelated manner. The foundation is built by analysis of cultural differences, which are used to clarify and explain the culture-based differences in information system structure and usage. Culture-related aspects of storyboards and database schemas are dealt with and evidence is derived from selected existing information systems.
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