Information Technology Disaster Recovery Plan (IT DRP) Framework – A study on IT Continuity for Smart City in Abu Dhabi Smart Government

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The growth in urbanization in the world of today in unprecedented, supported with information technology to meet the growing demands of the humankind. Over the years, technology application in various fields of business has increased, with one such concept been seen in the form of smart cities. The heavy reliance on technology today has facilitated governments to improve public services and achieve satisfaction amongst its users. Similarly for businesses, it has boosted global communication, trade and development. However, the reliance on information technology has also increased the challenges with one such being disaster recovery. In this research study, the aim was to develop a IT DRP framework to support the Abu Dhabi Government in the initiatives of smart city services to assure its system and IT continuity. An extensive literature review was conducted to identify the key parameters that dictate the efficiency of an IT framework, and the challenges, barriers and risks that are involved in securing IT disaster recovery. Past literature in the area of smart cities and information technology had led to the identification of the gap of IT disaster recovery which is found missing. While a large extent of the literature deals with securing firms in the event of a natural disaster, however, no significant finding was made in terms of a well-developed IT disaster recovery framework. This applies especially in the area of public services such as those offered by Abu Dhabi Smart City. Also, given the focus of the past researchers on IT continuity for corporates, this research study design was framed to incorporate the case of Abu Dhabi Smart City. Based on the factors identified in the literature review, i.e. factors influencing smart city services and the components of IT disaster recovery, a conceptual framework was developed. The concept was reviewed and examined in light of the past literature in the area of IT disaster recovery and the challenges or barriers that restricted their application in smart city services. A quantitative method was adopted as the research design for data collection from experts, IT professionals and policy makers from Abu Dhabi Government, UAE as the sample. A detailed statistical analysis was conducted to identify the relationships between the key variables i.e. smart city services and IT DRP and how the framework can be implemented in case of an IT disaster to secure IT services continuity. Upon data analysis, the researcher was able to identify the core components of IT DRP and Smart city which were then conjoined together to formulate the revised framework. Post review of each individual factor, correlation testing and hypothesis testing was conducted that examined the relationship between smart city variables and IT DRP variables. The analysis revealed that all the components of IT DRP and Smart city are inter-connected. As per the findings from the responses of the IT personnel associated with smart city projects in Abu Dhabi Government and the analysis of data, distinct from data validation, some additional factors are discovered. Based on this, few changes are made to the framework which involves addition of new factors and removal of less dominant factors from the framework for smart city IT DRP. The new comprehensive framework for smart city IT DRP for smart government services was tested as well as evaluated for validity. It was found that the framework proposed with the subcomponents of IT DRP and Smart city have a strong relationship when integrated together. After conducting the research and drawing important conclusions, the researcher offers recommendations for policy makers as well as researchers. The government can adopt the proposed framework for analysis of the numerous external factors having the potential to impact the plans in one way or the other and to devise more intelligent plans and strategies accordingly. In case of academic researchers, his study suggests to investigate on how to identify and then manage the identified stakeholders effectively for better results. They can look into the details of how by keeping in view the specific needs of the public, government can formulate more effectual policies to administer such large ICT projects. They can explore the different techniques adopted by the government entities and how they determine the order in which they execute their different tasks. It is suggested that they should look into the several facets of this smart city project so as to make planning in compliance. It is also recommended that the organizations and government should constantly monitor their security systems to avoid any sort of data breach and keep them up to date.
Emergency management -- Technological innovations., smart city, IT disaster recovery planning, IT continuity, IT disaster