The Role of Information Technology Managers in the Significant Company in Case of Natural Disasters in Qatar

The Role of Information Technology Managers in the Significant Company in Case of Natural Disasters in Qatar

Salem Al-Marri (Leeds Metropolitan University, UK) and Muthu Ramachandran (Leeds Metropolitan University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-731-7.ch023

Abstract

Natural disasters are increasingly frequent in recent years taking peoples’ lives and destructions to our economy, for example, Hurricane Katrina (US 2006), Tsunami (Asia 2004), and other IT related failures. The major aims of this study were to outline the disaster management steps, actions and procedures in the computer environment. The study focused on the role of Information Technology manager (IT) in case of any disaster events. IT manager job to perform a pre-disaster preparedness, mitigation and prevention necessary steps to protect the organisation Information Technology manager resources. Than proposes a model for Disaster Recovery management. This model will support contingencies and will provide a continuous planning management and monitor its activities along with a clear description of the hierarchical roles and activities. Also proposes a model for contingency and continuity planning management and its activities. This model consists of hierarchical roles and activities.
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Introduction

Global technology has been recently affecting different fields in our life as it has been effectively employed to many domains such as e-commerce, control systems, information gathering and management. World economy faced destruction and people lives were taking by many natural disasters and other events happened in the last recent years such as Hurricane Katrina .US 2006, Tsunami .Asia 2004, September 11 attacks and other Information Technology related failures. Such incidents showed that people lives and both technical and constructed infrastructure can be easily damaged especially that the increasing use of technology put more stress and uncertainties when disasters happen. According to a report by the secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR, 2004), over than 478,100 people were killed, more than 2.5 billion people were affected and about $ 690 billion losses in economy caused by natural and man-made disasters. Disasters triggered by hydro-meteorological hazards amounted for 97% of the total people affected by disasters, and 60% of the total economic losses (Shaw 2006). Also According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRCRCS), world disasters report 2004; the number of natural and technological disasters in the last decade has increased by 67 percent reaching 707 disasters each year (IFRCRCS, 2004). Therefore, as Lavell (1999) said the risks and disasters are dynamic and changing rapidly. This risk differs from one person in the same organisation to another and from one organisation to another.

On the other hand, sometimes a expected natural disaster or a man-made incident occurs like for example last Asia tsunami earthquake (2004), which killed around three hundred thousand people in eleven countries and destroyed a whole area and infrastructure in the disaster (Aljazeera, 2005). Also the World Trade Centre attack in September 11th 2001 which destroyed one of the most important trading centres in the world and the area around it (www.Reopen911.org, 2005). Therefore, the Information Technology manager should be ready all times for such kind of disaster by taking on this consideration the provisions by pre-disaster planning which guarantee the business continuity and less damage (Christoplos et al. 2001). It is evident that each type of a disaster has a different impact and each country and government has a different way to deal with such incidents. Therefore, it is essential to design an appropriate policy and apply successful strategy that can minimize the threat of disasters. Developing a global emergency management information network that provides electronic access to emergency management knowledge would be crucial. However, the emergency management coordination processes did not act effectively and broke down in the wake of the aforementioned disasters (Shaw 2006).

Moreover, Environmental problems exacerbated by natural or human-made events can contribute to area instability and convict. Such environmental security related disasters hinder economic development; displace populations, and the increase of weapons of mass destruction, the growth of undesirable elements. Qatar faces environmental challenges unlike any other region in the world. The regional environmental challenges include: water shortages, hazardous materials and waste, oil spills in the Gulf, shipping incidents, and transmission of new diseases. Therefore, the main aims of this research are to integrate information systems models with project management strategies:

  • A model for Disaster Recovery Management System and its detailed activities, contingency and continuity planning model for recovery actions.

  • A model for Natural Disasters (ND) and Risks Management System to help us to identify common pattern of events

  • Clear guidelines on information flow and person responsibilities as this can be very difficult in large organisations that are linked as in government departments.

  • Clear identification of contingency planning guidelines, information flow, timing, and specific roles

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