Corporate information infrastructures are deployed to reduce risks of data fragmentation and misalignment between the computing resources and the business objectives. However, the implementation of many infrastructures shows that they are costly, may drift and present side effects. Thus, sophisticated, integrated infrastructures may be characterized by new risks. This paper tries to understand this phenomenon conceptually by comparing two alternative definitions of risk: a managerial and a sociological one. Second, it introduces a real case to provide empirical evidence of the phenomenon. In a large bank the new email infrastructure is more integrated, standardized and delivers reliable message handling. However, when breakdowns occur the consequences are extremely severe and widespread. The sociological understanding of risk, which focuses on the side effects of traditional risk management can throw new light on the planning and management of large information infrastructures.
Ciborra, Claudio and Osei-Joehene, Daniel, "ICT Corporate Infastructure and Risk: A Dual Perspective" (2003). ECIS 2003 Proceedings. 42.