Projects Supported by ZOIS

Zero Outage Industry Association works together with international universities and research bodies to support their work and to awake a discussion between researchers and the industry. Chosen researches are being supported both on a financial and promotional way, enabling the close contact with IT industry leaders.

Risk variances describe possible different assessments by professionals of the same risks. The aim of this master thesis is to identify pragmatic approaches showing how professionals deal with varying outcomes of their risk assessments, e.g. on the basis of transaction cost theory or sociological system theory, with expert interviews. The outcomes of these interviews, which will be not done with Zero Outage members only should then be prepared into concrete suggestions for the security management department, showing how outcomes of security risk assessments can become more accountable, systematic and quality-controlled. These suggestions shall be translated into an achievable actions catalog within an existing, but not named, security management department. This actions catalog shall take suppliers into account as end-to-end IT services always consist of a chain of supplier. In addition, the potential consequences of varying risk Assessment on the quality of the organizational ISMS will be considered based on the interviews.

Risk Variance Findings

Communication networks have become a critical infrastructure of our digital society: a high availability, even under failures, is crucial for many applications. The resulting dependability requirements however stand in stark contrast to today’s manual and error-prone approach to configure and operate networks. In the NetTest project, we developed a tool which allows to automatically and visually test the resilience and policy-compliance of network configurations, hence disburdening human operators of their most complex tasks. This tool is based on our recent research result (published at IEEE INFOCOM 2018 and ACM CoNEXT 2018). As part of ZOIS’ NetTest project, we completely reimplemented the tool and thereby significantly improved the performance of the what-if analysis. The project was conducted in collaboration with Prof. Jiri Srba from Aalborg University, and was realized by two talented programmers: Peter Gjøl Jensen (an assistant professor who implemented the tool during his visit in Vienna) and Bernhard Schrenk (a student at the University of Vienna who contributed the user interface).

To find our more, please go to the NetTest website.

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Based on renowned theories in the field and on previous work of the applicant, in this project the effects of existing master-level soft-skill courses are going to be researched and discussed with representatives of organizations participating in the Zero Outcome Industry Standard. Based on the outcomes of this research, measures, educational resources, processes/scenarios, and strategies will be designed and researched with the aim to incrementally improve soft- or interpersonal competencies of students and employees in the field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Key findings are going to be described in scientific articles and submitted to international conferences and/or journals. Further cycles of design research are suggested to follow up this research to result in a spiral movement towards perfection of the human factor in the context of ICT.

Optimal functioning is based on a confluence of methodological, functional and interpersonal/ transversal competences. While methodological and functional competencies are amenable to specification and consequent assessment, it is the interpersonal competencies that are intertwined, fuzzy and complex such that assessing them explicitly poses a challenge and calls for creative approaches. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that their presence or absence is decisive for an organisation’s functioning, particularly in critical situations. This project aims to study the dynamics of interpersonal competences in the context of approaching zero outage by employing and adapting an open-source framework (the rhea.framework – for improving interpersonal competencies associated with team- leadership interaction through reflective practice and tailored training- and life- long learning concepts.

The training description can be found here.

Research Report