School District Information Technology Disaster Recovery Planning: An Explanatory Case Study

School District Information Technology Disaster Recovery Planning: An Explanatory Case Study

Author: 
Shaun L. Gray
Program of study: 
D.M./IST
Abstract: 
Despite research and practitioner articles outlining the importance information technology disaster plans (ITDRPs) to organizational success, barriers have impeded the process of disaster preparation for Burlington County New Jersey school districts. The purpose of this explanatory qualitative case study was to understand how technology leader experience has influenced ITDRPs. Participants in the study consisted of 10 technology leaders including a network administrator, educational technology coordinator, director of technology, technology coordinator, and a technology specialist. Interview questions pertaining to information technology disaster experience, organizational support, current disaster concerns, future concerns, and thoughts on current preparation level were designed to gather data from technology leaders. Data were collected, transcribed, and analyzed using Dedoose research software. The analysis of data led to six emergent themes. The results of the study indicated that information technology leaders who experienced disaster incidents that had a significant impact on their organizations were more likely to implement disaster mitigation strategies. The results of the study also showed that despite some efforts in ITDRP development, most districts did not have a formally documented plan. The findings of this study could benefit school district technology leaders seeking to improve their ITDRP and enhance their information systems resiliency. Suggestions for future research and recommendations for school district technology leaders to strengthen their ITDRPs are included in the discussion of findings.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to my wife, Johanne Gray, and my mother Kimberly Dial. I am deeply grateful to have such a supportive wife who put her own career aspirations on hold to support me and raise our children. I am forever grateful to my mother, Kimberly Dial, who raised my sister and I alone and has been a constant source of encouragement for me throughout this process. Without my family’s support, sacrifice, and encouragement, I could not have completed this doctoral journey. I would also dedicate this dissertation to a few close family members I have lost during this journey. To my cousin, Derrick China, my grandmother Doris Carney, my grandfather Roeshell Carney, and most recently my grandmother Marie Agela. It was in your memory that I was persistent in this dissertation process as your presence was felt as a source of encouragement for me.
Acknowledgements: 
I want to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to my dissertation chair, Dr. Linda de Charon and my dissertation committee members, Dr. Shawn Boone and Dr. Dennis Carlson for their commitment, support, guidance, motivation, and recommendations throughout the dissertation process. Dr. de Charon’s guidance and mentorship during this process was incredibly valuable. I also cannot thank Dr. de Charon enough for going above and beyond to help me with questions and concerns. I would like to acknowledge and thank my superintendent, Dr. Joseph Del Rossi, who supported me in this process when I expressed interested several years ago. Finally, I would like to thank the study participants who took valuable time out of their schedule to share their experiences in this research study.