The Influence of Risks on the Cost Overrun of ICT Network Projects

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
As the internet is becoming an increasingly inescapable part of our lives, which is being facilitated through a number of disruptive technologies, it has become mandatory for the government sector to operate in such a technologically advanced environment. The implementation of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) helps governments become more effective, accessible and accountable. It is expected that the use of ICT by a government in its processes and services can help in streamlining services which are more responsive, encourage wider public participation and also result in cost-effective services at every government level. Thus, the focus of this research was the identification of risk factors for the implementation of ICT networks in the UAE and development of a conceptual framework that would help to implement ICT networks in spite of these risk factors. With respect to this focus, the aim of the study was ‘To study those factors which influence the adoption and implementation of ICT networks in the UAE and lead to cost over-runs’. After conducting a thorough literature review, a quantitative analysis was carried out by conducting a survey of 209 professionals who were related to the field of information technology or communication and were associated with ICT projects in different capacities. Using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) in Microsoft Excel, data was gathered and the findings were analyzed, which helped to develop a unique framework and reach vital conclusions. The main risk factors that were identified were Planning and Development, People and Management, Operations, Technology and Hardware. Furthermore, under each of these risk factors, additional factors were identified which became a part of the framework. The researcher also identified the various cost over-run factors that could hamper the ICT adoption process. Characteristics of ICT project implementation which include barriers, benefits and risks from multiple points of view were identified during the course of research. Within the literature review and data analysis, a number of barriers which make it difficult for implementation of ICT components in public organizations were identified; this included governmental and organizational policies. One of the novel contributions made by this research is fact that risk management, its factors, cost over-runs and its factors have not been studied in the adoption and implementation stage of ICT network projects previously. This research has expanded the existing literature by documenting and clustering ICT network project risks into themes and clusters and has developed a scale (risk statements) for measuring such risks. Further, the research has advanced the ICT network projects by identifying the most likely risks that will contribute to over-run of these projects within the UAE context. The results from this study will help to develop a conceptual framework that will help in the strategic management of risk and cost over-run in ICT network projects.
Risk assessment., ICT network projects, government sector, Information and Communications Technology (ICT)