Modelling the assimilation and value of sensor information systems in data centres

Alaraifi, A 2012, Modelling the assimilation and value of sensor information systems in data centres, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business IT and Logistics, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Modelling the assimilation and value of sensor information systems in data centres
Author(s) Alaraifi, A
Year 2012
Abstract Sensor Information Systems (SIS) refer to any IS that utilises sensor(s) that are directly or indirectly connected to other sensors or sensor networks in order to automate, inform and/or transform a given task or process or appliance. SIS are promoted as one of the best practices to overcome critical data centres issues such as inefficiency of Information Technology (IT) infrastructure usage, rising cost of operations, and the consumption and efficiency of energy. A review of the sensor, IS, and data centre literature shows that there is a dearth of theory driven empirical research on the utilisation of SIS in data centres, the factors that explain variations in applying SIS in data centres and the value of SIS use to data centres. The aim of this study is therefore to address the gap in the current literature and answer research questions.

The research was conducted through a mixed method approach consisting of a literature review, exploratory case studies (pilot study) and large scale survey. Drawing from several theories of innovation adoption and value, and the five exploratory case studies, an integrative theoretical framework, which we call as TOIN (Technology, Organisation, Institutional and Natural Environment), was proposed to investigate the factors that explain the variation in the assimilation of SIS and the impact of SIS use on data centre’s operational and environmental performance. A series of hypotheses are developed by linking the TOIN factors to SIS assimilation and value in a two order-based model. The TOIN framework is tested using Partial Least Squares (PLS) path modelling and data collected from a global survey of 205 data centres.

The findings indicate that SIS compatibility, perceived SIS risk, green IT orientation, and normative pressure directly influence the level of SIS usage among data centres. In addition, normative pressure, energy pressure, and natural environmental pressure indirectly affect the assimilation of SIS through influencing the organizational conditions for SIS use. These results are mostly sensitive to differences in data centre characteristics including age and type of data centre. Further, the test of the second order model show that the level of actual usage as well as the level of SIS mangers’ knowledge affect the operational and environmental performance of data centre operations including the facility, cooling and power, and computing platforms.

The research represents one of the first studies on the use and value of SIS in general and in the context of data centre environment in particular. It makes an original contribution by proposing and validating the TOIN framework which can be used as a theoretical foundation for future and related studies. It also contributes original knowledge regarding how data centres are using SIS to tackle some of the operational, economic and environmental challenges. Thus, the research adds to the body of knowledge on intelligent systems, infrastructure management, green IS and energy informatics. Furthermore, the research extends the current innovation theories by incorporating the natural environment to study the technology use and value and shows the significance of natural environment considerations on organizations’ activities.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business IT and Logistics
Keyword(s) Sensor Information Systems
Data Centers
IS Assimilation
IS Value
Green Information Systems
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Created: Mon, 07 Dec 2015, 08:04:16 EST by Denise Paciocco
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