Strategic ICT alignment in uncertain environments: An empirical study in emergency management organizations
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Today’s society is exposed to an increasing number of disasters and large scale emergencies (e.g. earthquake in Haiti, global swine flu, or manmade disasters like the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico). Information and communication technology (ICT) can help to prevent and mitigate the effects of threatening situations if applied appropriately. In industry ICT governance methods have become important tools to successfully align ICT with business goals. However, the domain of emergency management (EM) has to deal with unpredictable situations, multi organizational collaborations and ad-hoc teams, conditions which make conventional ICT governance frameworks and methods less useful. Based on a qualitative analysis of several European and Australian EM organizations and government agencies this paper discusses the issues and benefits of strategic ICT alignment in EM and identifies the current barriers and the special requirements of this domain. Finally, it presents a prototypical approach to fill this gap.
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