Aligning IT Initiatives with Emergency Management Objectives

  • Marcus Vogt

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Today’s society is exposed to numerous disasters and large-scale emergencies. Information Technology (IT) can help to prevent and mitigate the effects of threatening situations if applied appropriately. However, organizations in the domain of Emergency Management feel overwhelmed by the complexity of IT. They are often unable to estimate the value and risk involved in information system and associated technologies. Thus, they are either reluctant to utilize IT, or they use inappropriate solutions. As a result, IT and Emergency Management processes are misaligned. This thesis is investigating the benefits of strategic IT alignment in the domain of Emergency Management in order to foster the utilization of IT and realize value from it. The research has identified current IT alignment barriers and the special requirements of this domain. Emergency management has in contrast to industry to deal with unpredictable situations, multi organizational collaborations, and fast changing responsibilities and processes. Thus, this paper proposes conceptual models and methods, based on contemporary IT Governance frameworks and tools, which will help Emergency Management organizations to align IT initiatives with Emergency Management objectives. The researcher utilized qualitative, quantitative, and modelling techniques during the different research stages in order to develop and adapt IT Governance related models and methods. The three final concepts address the most important IT Governance issues of the researched Emergency Management organizations. “ITICO4EM”, is a simplified IT Governance framework based on COBIT and ITIL. It addresses the domains needs without creating too much overhead, while it used domain specific terminology and remains ITIL and COBIT compatible. “IT-ORG/CrIO”, proposes an organizational structure for effective IT Governance in the domain of Emergency Management. It addresses the interorganizational relations and shifting responsibilities in this domain and suggests the implementation of a mutual IT Governance approach across departments, Aligning IT Initiatives with Emergency Management Objectives units, and organizations by utilizing IT Governance committees and the implementation of a Crisis Information Officer (CrIO). “IVEM²”, will support Emergency Management organizations to estimate the value of their IT initiatives for their Emergency Management operations. The proposed IT value estimation method is based on a modular approach, which enables Emergency Management organizations to create an IT portfolio, which can cope with uncertain emergencies and deliver value in all possible situations. Finally, the three approaches are combined to the “ITEM-Governance Approach”, which should support Emergency Management organizations in their endeavour to align their IT initiatives with Emergency Management objectives in order to increase IT value, reliability, and utilization.
Date of Award6 Oct 2012
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorGavin Finnie (Supervisor)

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