The Survivability Principle: IT Enabled Dispersal of Organizational Capital
Andrew P. Snow (Ohio University, USA), Detmar Straub (Georgia State University, USA), Carl Stucke (Georgia State University, USA) and Richard Baskerville (Georgia State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006
The horrific terrorist attacks carried out on September 11, 2001, and the ensuing aftermath are driving managers to reconsider organizational risk. The collapsing towers moved the hypothetical risk of centralization to the shockingly real. In this new environment, organizations need to see survivability as a critical imperative motivating an updated enterprise risk mitigation strategy that includes new design objectives such as: (1) more geographically distributed organizations, (2) a move from redundant to physically distributed IT capabilities, and (3) more stringent security and survivability demands on enterprise IT infrastructures and network service providers. While individual firms’ strategies will vary in the extent and type of physical decentralization, the overall tendency should be toward further dispersal of people, technology, and physical assets. This chapter examines the concepts of risk and decentralization as articulated in the scientific literature and then presents a strong logic for physical decentralization supported by a technical risk analysis.