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Towards better management of IT service outages

Modern society is becoming increasingly dependent on IT services. Consequences of outages in these services range from delayed deliveries and minor power outages to empty shelves in stores and shortage of everything from food to medicine. Critical IT services are found throughout society, in private and public sector alike.

Aim and goal

The consequences of outages in these services are becoming ever larger – and ever more unpredictable. Still, consequences of IT service outages are remarkably poorly studied. This project aims to fill these knowledge gaps and develop practitioner relevant knowledge that can be used when analyzing risks and minimizing the consequences of IT service outages.


The starting point of the project is today’s increasing procurement of IT as-a-service – a trend that will surely continue in the future. Today, IT is often governed by so called Service Level Agreements (SLA) that stipulate e.g. performance, availability and maintenance windows for services bought. For the buyer of so called cloud services, or indeed for anyone who is dependent on systems and services not owned and managed in-house, such contracts are often the only resort available in outage situations. Whenever IT is not operated in-house, it is difficult to manage risk through technical or organizational measures. Instead, financial risk management through so called cyber insurance is becoming an increasingly debated alternative.


  • The costs of IT outages in Sweden. How large are they and how can they be measured? Can the results be generalized from the costs of individual businesses to the costs of society at large?
  • Cyber insurance. What does the Swedish market look like? It seems to be growing, but its size and mechanisms have not yet been investigated.
  • Service Level Agreements. How are SLAs worded, decided upon and evaluated? How should this be done? Most probably, valuable best practices can be learned from mature organizations.


The knowledge and insights derived from the project will lead to better management of IT service outages. This can benefit all parts of society that depend on IT services.


Project name




RISE role in project

Project manager

Project start



Total budget

2.8 MSEK


Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB)

Project members


Ulrik Franke

Contact person

Ulrik Franke

Senior Researcher

Read more about Ulrik

Contact Ulrik
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