Information systems success and failure are among the most prominent streams in IS research. Explanations of why some IS fulfill their expectations, whereas others fail, are complex and multi-factorial. Despite the efforts to understand the underlying factors, the IS failure rate remains stubbornly high. A Panel session was held at the IFIP Working Group 8.6 conference in Bangalore in 2013 which forms the subject of this Special Issue. Its aim was to reflect on the need for new perspectives and research directions, to provide insights and further guidance for managers on factors enabling IS success and avoiding IS failure. Several key issues emerged, such as the need to study problems from multiple perspectives, to move beyond narrow considerations of the IT artifact, and to venture into underexplored organizational contexts, such as the public sector.