Publications in the spotlights

Ongoing projects

How governing boards take accountability for governing digital assets. 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

In our increasingly digitized economy, information technology (IT) has become fundamental to support, sustain and grow organizations. Successful organizations leverage the digital innovation potential but also understand and manage the risks and constraints of technology. Previously, the governing non-executive board could delegate, ignore or avoid IT related decisions, but the disruptive new technologies (cloud, internet of things, big data…) are increasingly being felt at board level. Emerging research calls for more board level engagement in enterprise governance of IT and identifies serious consequences for digitized organizations in case the board is not involved. Yet, it appears that enterprise technology governance competence remains the 'elephant in the boardroom' for more than 80% of boards of directors. Starting from this problem statement, this PhD research focuses on the "why", "what" and "how" of board-level decision making in IT related matters.

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Past projects

Modular and evolvable document management systems based on normalized systems theory: case study based research and pilot applications. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

This project centers around developing an alternative to the established but outdated paradigm of document management. In recent research, an innovative modular approach to document management was established that enables the design of content-agnostic and evolvable documents. This new approach imagines documents as multidimensional and ever-changing entities instead of mere static representation of their analogue predecessors. The approach is based on theoretical insights of modularity and Normalized Systems (NS) theory. Based on case study research, this project establishes a clear definition of the market for evolvable documents. Furthermore, pilot applications are developed in collaboration with organizations to determine the obstacles, requirements, advantages and economic incentives for evolvable document solutions. Based on these outcomes, commercial solutions will be built in follow-up project(s).

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IT Alignment and Governance (ITAG) Research 15/11/2015 - 01/06/2019

Abstract

This research project is a collaboration between University of Antwerp and Antwerp Management School. It addresses theoretical and practice-oriented research on how organisations are implementing IT governance as enabler for business/IT alignment and value creation out of IT enabled investments.

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Using theories from economics & finance to address information security risks. 01/02/2015 - 04/08/2015

Abstract

The continued growth in the use of information technology has exposed businesses to the risk of loss of data, services and business operations due to an attack on their information systems. However, information security is not only a technical issue but an economic issue as well. Though there has been some research on the economic aspect of information security, the research in the domain is sparse and this motivates us to explore the application of theories and concepts from economics and finance to understand the economic dimension of information security. The research follows the Design Science Research approach. The ongoing research started with the evaluation of information security investment models proposed in the literature and the aim is to design and develop a prediction market for informed information security investment and risk management decisions. We hypothesize that: (i) a well-designed prediction market can be used for risk estimation and estimation of loss impact in the information security domain. This will help the decision makers in adopting an appropriate risk mitigation strategy; (ii) Prediction markets can further be useful in hedging information security risks by allowing trading of financial instruments linked to the risk of information security events. We explore the key design issues relevant to the market for trading of information security related financial instruments, which can be traded to facilitate the mitigation of a substantial proportion (if not all) of the information security risk.

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Boosting Value Creation Through Information Technology in Flemish SMEs: On the Implementation of IT Governance to Enable the Creation of Business Value from IT-enabled investments. 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

Contemporary smaller organizations often struggle with IT-enabled value creation. This research project will gain insight in the implementation of IT governance in the SME context. Using these insights, SMEs will find guidance in their quest to IT-enabled value creation.

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IT Assurance Case Studies. 22/07/2014 - 31/10/2014

Abstract

This project represents a formal service agreement between UA and on the other hand ISACA. UA provides ISACA research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Building the business case for COBIT 5. 10/04/2014 - 30/09/2014

Abstract

This practice-oriented research attempts to demonstrate the business value obtained by applying governance and management practices as proposed in COBIT. The research project is commissioned by ISACA, the international federation of IT governance professionals, to the University of Antwerp.

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The use of IT value management practices in achieving financial firm performance for IT enabled investments. 01/01/2011 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

Strategic investments in information technology (IT) are pervasive in contemporary organisations. However, there is a huge gap of knowledge and practical support in the efficient and effective implementation and delivery of such investments. Moreover, the assumed value in many cases is not achieved or insufficiently realised. Consequently, this PhD focuses on IT value management, where the entire process from idea till the realisation of business value is examined. In a first phase, management practices will be identified by both literature and case study research, which is validated through a Delphi study. Then, an international survey will investigate the impact that such practices have on business value creation from strategic IT enabled business investment. Finally, in-depth case study research should facilitate more understanding and insight into the contextual factors affecting the success of such investments.

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Designing enterprises for evolvability: an integrated approach based on fundamental engineering concepts. 01/01/2011 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

Contemporary organizations are operating in a hypercompetitive environment, in which they are faced with challenges such as increasing complexity and increasing change in many or all of their aspects. Current methodologies for the development of information systems supporting these organizations are clearly unable to deal with these levels of changing complexity. Normalized Systems (NS) theory proposes a theoretical framework that explains why current modular structures in information systems are intrinsically limited in terms of evolvability, as well as how modular structures can be built without these limitations, thus exhibiting evolvable modularity. The strategic goal of this project is to develop a contribution to how evolvable modularity as a theoretical framework can support business processes and enterprise architectures and its supporting ICT systems.

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A comparison of the explanatory power of three theoretical perspectives in the organizational adoption of knowledge-intensive information technology innovations 01/01/2010 - 31/03/2011

Abstract

In this research project, we investigate the organizational adoption of knowledge-intensive information technology innovations by Flemish organizations. These innovations are difficult to adopt due to the presence of knowledge barriers. To obtain a better understanding of the innovative behavior of organizations with respect to the adoption of this type of innovations, the adoption is studied from three theoretical perspectives.

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  • Promotor: Ven Kris

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Maintaining privacy in hostile and complicated ubiquitous computing environments. 01/01/2007 - 31/12/2008

Abstract

In the PACE (privacy awareness for complicated environments) project we develop a system that provides feedback related to privacy-intrusive events (such as RFID scans). The system consists of sensing devices, a privacy ontology, a reasoning server and a feedback component. The increased need for feedback on, and logging of, privacy-related events is a direct consequence of the pervasive and hidden nature of many of today's tracking technologies. This nature has put the consumer at a serious disadvantage with respect to control over personal information.

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01/06/2002 - 30/09/2004

Abstract

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