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Information Technology Planning (University of Greenwich BIT Coursework) by Nay Linn Ko

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(University of Greenwich BIT Coursework) by Nay Linn Ko

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Information Technology Planning (University of Greenwich BIT Coursework) by Nay Linn Ko

  1. 1. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 1 Coursework Title : Strategic Evaluation Document for Amazing Destinations COMP 1647 : Information Technology Planning Due Date : 5th November 2015 Centre : KMD (Yangon, Myanmar)
  2. 2. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 2 Acknowledgement First of all, I like to acknowledge the responsible persons from University of Greenwich who provide this coursework for students. I would like to thank to all the authors and researchers who researched about Information Technology Planning, Data Duplication, Outsourcing and In-house Development for IT. Moreover, I would like to present my appreciation for our lecturer, Mrs. Moe Sandar Aung, for her great and expert lectures and guidelines. Last but not least, I would like to thank to responsible teachers and staffs from our centre, KMD for providing such a good learning environment.
  3. 3. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 3 Table of Contents Acknowledgement .....................................................................................................................2 1. Introduction...........................................................................................................................5 1.1 Background ......................................................................................................................5 1.2 Issues in the Organisation ..................................................................................................5 1.3 The Way Forward..............................................................................................................6 2. Strategic Evaluation..............................................................................................................7 2.1 SWOT Analysis.................................................................................................................7 2.1.1 Strengths.........................................................................................................................7 2.1.2 Weaknesses.....................................................................................................................8 2.1.3 Opportunities ..................................................................................................................8 2.1.4 Threats............................................................................................................................9 3. Impact of IS.........................................................................................................................10 3.1 Identifying New Systems .................................................................................................10 3.1.1 Why Amazing Destinations needs New Systems? .................................................10 3.1.2 Descriptions for the Systems.................................................................................10 3.1.3 Expected Reports from the Systems and Recipients of the Reports........................11 3.2 Data Duplication Problems ..............................................................................................13 3.2.1 Areas with Data Duplication Problems..................................................................13 3.2.2 How would the two systems solve data duplication problems?..............................14 3.2.3 Information Sharing Between the Two Systems ....................................................14 3.3 Biggest Organisational Changes.......................................................................................15 3.3.1 Identifying Biggest Organisational Changes for New Business Model ..................15 3.3.2 Possible Impacts of the Two Systems....................................................................16 3.3.3 Suggestions to Become Smooth Organisational Changes ......................................17 3.4 Argument for Outsourced and In-house Development for the Two Systems.....................18 3.4.1 Argument for Outsourced Development................................................................18 3.4.2 How would the IT Department be outsourced?......................................................18
  4. 4. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 4 3.4.3 Argument for In-house Development ....................................................................19 3.4.4 Ensuring that IT department is fit for purpose .......................................................19 Conclusion ...............................................................................................................................20 References................................................................................................................................21
  5. 5. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 5 1. Introduction According to the scenario, Amazing Destinations is a travel agency that specialises in adventure holidays. After operating 12 years, the company is considered to be one of the top travel agencies for the adventure journeys. 40% of its clients have explored adventure trips for 6 or more times with Amazing Destinations. The company has built a successful customer loyalty. This is because the company receives the feedbacks of the clients at the end of holidays. These feedbacks are extremely useful in building customer loyalty. 1.1 Background Recently, competitions in travel industries have increased significantly. Therefore, Amazing Destinations decided to reduce inessential cost. Significant revamp to the IT systems might be one of the solutions in reducing cost. Amazing Destinations has to cooperate with airlines, railways, hotels and restaurants in order to provide a holiday. Currently, all these co-operations are being done manually. In addition, the IT department of the company has no experience in developing new systems. Therefore, the strategic level management of the company might have many concerns. There is no company website and all the bookings are made over the telephone. Moreover, most of the staffs are considered to be technophobes. Throughout this report, we would identify the two new IT systems that the company might need to develop, data duplication problems, the organisational changes due to the development of the new systems and argument for outsourcing of the IT department. 1.2 Issues in the Organisation The increased competitions between travel agencies would be one of the issues for the company. Amazing Destinations has to deal with airlines, railways and the hotels faster than before because of these competitions. But all these dealing processes are being done manually. The limited use of IT is also one of the huge issues that hindering the organisation. Additionally, many people are concerned about to travel some adventurous destinations. Amazing Destinations currently has poor marketing strategies and this could be a hindering issue. Moreover, while exploring new destinations, some country specialists are not willing to venture more challenging places. And this could impact the organisation. The IT department of the company has no experience in developing new information systems. Currently, Amazing Destinations has no website presence. All the
  6. 6. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 6 bookings are made over the telephone only. These are the issues that can greatly impact the organisation. 1.3 The Way Forward In order to compete with other travel agencies, Amazing Destinations needs to focus to develop new information systems. Co-operation with third party companies such as airlines and hotels should not be done manually. Moreover, the company should have a website that provides booking services for package tours so that many potential customers would choose Amazing Destinations as their agency. In addition, Amazing Destinations needs to improve its marketing strategies. Exploring new adventure destinations could be one of the solutions to attract more customers. In order to maintain customer loyalty, customer service staff would need to be trained by the country specialists more frequently. The skills of the IT department should also be discussed to be improved. Currently, two employees in IT department have no experience in developing new systems. The Executive Committee needs to focus whether the IT department should be outsourced or in- house.
  7. 7. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 7 2. Strategic Evaluation 2.1 SWOT Analysis 2.1.1 Strengths 1. Successful Customer Loyalty Amazing Destinations has built successful customer loyalty. According to the scenario, 40% of its customers have been on 6 or more journeys with Amazing Destinations. This is because the company focuses on the customers’ feedbacks. The feedbacks help in targeting the customers with the type of destination that they want. 2. Experienced Travel Agency (Brand Recognition) ` The company has experience of 12 years in travel industry. It is considered to be one of the top adventure tour companies by public. So, we could say that Amazing Destinations has successfully built their brand among other competitors. 3. Skilful Country Specialists According to the scenario, most of the country specialists love to explore new places and most of them can train customer services staff about holiday destinations. 2.1.2 Weaknesses 1. Limited Use of IT The use of IT is limited in Amazing Destinations. Co-operations with airlines and hotels are being done manually. The information of the customers are kept in hand written ledger and this could lead to be data duplications. According to the case study, there is no website dedicated to the company.
  8. 8. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 8 2. Weaknesses of IT Department Another weakness is deal with IT department. IT department of the company has no experience in developing new systems for 8 years. The skill of the employees in the IT department is concerned by the management. 3. Weaknesses of Some Employees Most of the country specialists love to explore new destinations but there are some of them who do not want to venture into more challenging places. The company is considered to be required more experienced employees in every department. 2.1.3 Opportunities 1. Improvements in Worldwide Communication In recent years, internet and other networks have been improved around the world. Travellers can keep in touch from remote areas. Therefore, there is an opportunities that many people could choose travel to more remote parts of the world. 2. New Marketing Strategies Amazing Destinations is planning to improve its marketing strategies. For example, a new television programme where the winners of this programme will be awarded a luxury adventure holiday. This kind of new marketing strategies could be opportunities to attract people to be interested in luxury adventure holidays. 3. Expanding New Adventure Destinations By expanding new luxury adventure destinations, more travellers are expected to travel with Amazing Destinations.
  9. 9. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 9 2.1.4 Threats 1. Increased Competitors Increased competitors in luxury adventure holiday market means that it is difficult to achieve the target revenue for Amazing Destinations. 2. Changes in Employees for New IT Systems Emotional impacts could emerge between employees by developing new IT systems. The company should find some way of supporting its employees how to accept these technological changes. 3. Security Issues in Remote Destinations Some of the remote destinations are notoriously troublesome. The political and religion crisis are happening in many parts of the world. The security issues in these areas should be aware by the agency. Otherwise, the reputation of the company would be harmed.
  10. 10. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 10 3. Impact of IS 3.1 Identifying New Systems In order to improve the chances of success, Amazing destinations must renovate or develop new information systems. Currently, the upper level management would like to develop two new information systems which are useful for the company. As a consultant, a “Web Based Online Booking System (WBBS)” and “Package Tour Management Information System (PTMIS)” are advised to develop as two new major systems. 3.1.1 Why Amazing Destinations needs New Systems? Amazing Destinations furiously needs a web based online booking system. This is because there is no website dedicated to the company currently. All the bookings are made manually and over the telephone. Therefore, Amazing Destinations is losing potential customers. By providing a website which accepts booking process, the agency would receive more customers. Besides, the agency also needs a package tour management information system, which can manage in dealing with airlines, railways, hotels, restaurants, car rental and so on for a particular destination. This system is very critical to be developed since the dealing processes are currently carried out manually. 3.1.2 Descriptions for the Systems Web Based Online Booking System (WBBS) A website dedicated to Amazing Destinations in which customers can book adventure package tours is needed to develop. By visiting the website, customers could perceive adventure destinations and the information about adventurous places. It would be a kind of marketing strategy for Amazing Destinations. And the package tour programs along with costs would be also displayed. Once a customer books for a package tour program, required data would be asked to the customer and then store in a database. When the booking end date for that package tour is reached, a respective staff will give the booking data which were made over the telephone to IT department. After that, the IT staff will combine the booking data into the database and make sure that there is no booking data duplication. After all, combined booking data are sent to the respective country specialist by using the system itself.
  11. 11. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 11 Moreover, the system would be developed in order to know automatically the loyal customers by checking the database. The system could provide discount process for the loyal customers if they book a package tour program. Package Tour Management Information System (PTMIS) Package Tour Management Information System is a system that could be applied in dealing with third parties such as airlines, railways, hotels, car rental, restaurants and visitor attractions. The contact information about third parties companies are needed to be stored in the database of the system. The followings are the steps of processing of the system. When the country specialist receives the combined booking data from WBBS, he would check the number of customers who would take part in the package tour. After that, the country specialist would make dealing process with the third parties using the system. For example, if the number of booked customers is 20, the country specialist would make reservation for 20 flight tickets, 20 train tickets and so on, by using the system. After the country specialist had made all the dealing process, he would produce a quotation which consists of the number of booked customers, descriptions about airlines, railways, hotels, etc., and the estimated total cost for the package tour. The quotation could be produced by using the system. 3.1.3 Expected Reports from the Systems and Recipients of the Reports Expected reports from the WBBS would be booked customer information report, customer loyalty report and report deal with number of customer comparison with previous package tour. Expected Report from WBBS Recipient Interested Information Booked Customer Information Report Country Specialist (tactical level) Contact information of customer (see above paragraph) Customer Loyalty Report Marketing Dept. (tactical level) Is there loyal clientele in the booking list? Report deal with number of customer comparison with previous package tour Strategic Level Reach the targeted number? How many Growth Rate?
  12. 12. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 12 Expected reports from PTMIS would be quotation report for each package tour program, and estimated revenue and cost report for each package tour. Expected Report from PTMIS Recipient Interested Information Quotation Report for Each Package Tour Program CEO and Strategic Level Names of dealt airline, railway, hotels, restaurants, etc., and costs Estimated Revenue and Cost Report for Each Package Tour Program Financial Dept.(Tactical level) and Strategic Level Estimated Revenue and Costs. How much net profit?
  13. 13. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 13 3.2 Data Duplication Problems 3.2.1 Areas with Data Duplication Problems According to the scenario, Amazing Destinations is suffering data duplication problems in- 1. Keeping customer information 2. Recording booking information 3. Storing third party companies information 1. Duplication in keeping customer information In order to target the customer with holidays that they want, Amazing Destinations keep the customer information. But the customer information are kept in a hand written ledger manually. Therefore, some of the customer information are kept more than one time and data duplications are occurred. 2. Duplication in recording booking information In current manual system, all the bookings are made over the telephone. Therefore, in some cases, the information such as address and contact information of customer is not complete enough. And, data duplications are also occurring in recording booking information. 3. Duplication in storing third party companies information Amazing Destinations deal with third party companies such as airlines, railways, hotels, taxi and coach companies, restaurants, visitor attractions and a host of other suppliers to provide a complete holiday package. Because of the manual processing, some information of the third party companies are duplicated or are not up to date.
  14. 14. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 14 3.2.2 How would the two systems solve data duplication problems? By using WBBS, the system would check a unique data of customer (for example- passport number) before saving into the database, in order to avoid from data duplications. There would be no more data duplication problems deal with customer information since each passport number of customer is unique. Moreover, data duplications in recording booking information could also be avoided by using WBBS system. Some of the DBSM techniques could be applied to avoid the data duplication. For example, by setting the package tour ID and the passport number of customer as an aggregate primary key, a customer can book that package tour just only once for a limited time. Same with WBBS, data duplication problems in storing third party companies’ information would be solved by applying PTMIS system. The data of third party companies would be unique and up to date. 3.2.3 Information Sharing Between the Two Systems The output data from WBBS would be interesting information for the PTMIS. This is because, the number of booked customer for a package tour program could be known from WBBS system and that data is important for PTMIS system in dealing with third party companies. For example, if the number of booked customers is 20, the country specialist would make reservation for 20 flight tickets, 20 train tickets and so on, by using PTMIS system. Moreover, the information of third party companies which are kept in the PTMIS database would be displayed at WBBS website, so that customers could perceive the information about third party companies on the website. Because of the above reasons, we could say that the information from one system would be helpful for the other system.
  15. 15. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 15 3.3 Biggest Organisational Changes 3.3.1 Identifying Biggest Organisational Changes for New Business Model The two new major systems suggested in the above sections would create the new business model for Amazing Destinations. And, biggest organisational changes would be formed by this new business model. Possible biggest organisational changes could be addressed into the following- 1. Changes in Procedures 2. Changes in Policy 3. Changes in Structures 4. Changes in Attitude 1. Changes in Procedures The biggest changes in procedure would be changing from manual systems to IT systems. A lot of processes such as booking process and dealing with third parties would be transformed into manual systems to IT systems. Another transformation would be changes in storing data; hand written ledger to virtual database. Hand written ledgers would not be required anymore because of the new IT systems. Virtual database would be required instead. Moreover, changes in reporting process could be occurred. Reports would be new and standard format if the new systems are applied. And, the reports would be virtual. 2. Changes in Policy Policy such as data protection policy of Amazing Destinations would be changed. Since there are new IT systems, new data protection policy would be required to substitute the old data protection policy for manual system. Security policy of the company would also be needed to change. New security policies in order to avoid from unauthorized access, hacking and phishing would be required. Moreover, the outsourcing policy of Amazing Destinations is required to transform. Currently, the company seems does not have outsourcing policy for development of
  16. 16. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 16 IT systems. Since the IT department of the company has no experience, the management should consider about outsourcing to develop the new system. 3. Changes in Structures The structural changes in IT department would be occurred. Currently, the IT department of the company has few numbers of staff who have no experience in building new IT systems. Therefore, IT department of Amazing Destinations need to be reorganised or recruit new experienced staff. 4. Changes in Attitude Emotional changes could be appeared among the employees if new IT systems were in use. According to the case study, some of the staff are considered themselves to be technophobes and are more likely to quit from their jobs immediately. Customers’ attitude upon Amazing Destinations could also be changed. Some of the loyal clientele who are familiar with the ordinary manual systems would concern about the performance of the new IT systems. 3.3.2 Possible Impacts of the Two Systems By changing to the new IT systems, there would not be needed hand written ledger and therefore, more spaces could be appeared for Amazing Destinations. It would be a big achievement for the company since real estate rental prices are increasing. On the other hand, security issues could impact the company because of the new systems. Security issues such as unauthorized access, wrong authentication and hacking of the systems would be faced. Another biggest possible impact would be occurred deal with employees. Since some of the employees are considered themselves to be technophobes and they are more likely to quit from the company immediately. Since IT department has no experience, the management of Amazing Destinations argue that IT department should be outsourced. But, if IT department is outsourced, a lot of impacts would harm the company.
  17. 17. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 17 3.3.3 Suggestions to Become Smooth Organisational Changes The management of Amazing Destinations has the responsibility to make the employees feel as they are project co-owners and not being imposed person. Psychologically, people tend to do the best for something they own. Moreover, the senior management of Amazing Destinations need to express the benefits that could be achieved by using new systems (such as no need to do paper work, no more data duplications, etc.). This is a kind of persuasion to the employees. Amazing Destinations needs to communicate with customers both written and orally emphasizing that the company cares about their feelings. And the company requires persuading the customers to be credible upon these changes by using marketing strategies such as discounts, lucky draws and promotions.
  18. 18. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 18 3.4 Argument for Outsourced and In-house Development for the Two Systems 3.4.1 Argument for Outsourced Development IT department of Amazing Destinations should be outsourced because of some reasons. Firstly, the two members of staff in the IT department have no experience in developing new systems. The staffs are doing no more than support existing systems. Secondly, Amazing Destinations is not an IT-oriented company. The business can operate very well without IT department and it is considered to be the least respected department in Amazing Destinations Organisation. By outsourcing the IT department, Amazing Destinations might achieve many benefits. The company will get advantage in falling costs like salaries for IT department staffs. Quality of the new systems is guaranteed by the outsourced company. Moreover, the management of Amazing Destinations can be able to focus only on the business rather than focus on development of the new systems. 3.4.2 How would the IT Department be outsourced? The management of Amazing Destinations has to consider in choosing single or multiple outsourcers. After choosing outsourcing provider, Amazing Destinations has to make contract with them. Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the two systems which includes detail transactions of the systems, system maintenance policy and on-call service schedule must be provided along with the contract. Facilitated workshops and meetings should be provided during the development of the new systems. Moreover, the outsourcing provider has to prove that members in outsourcing team are technically trained and qualified. The responsibilities of the outsourcing company are also required to define clearly. The management of Amazing Destinations should also involve actively in communicating with outsourcing provider.
  19. 19. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 19 3.4.3 Argument for In-house Development Although we discussed that the IT department should be outsourced, there are some drawbacks of outsourcing. First of all, Amazing Destinations will loss the complete control of the systems since they were developed by the outsourcing provider. Moreover, the confidential data of Amazing Destinations would also be needed to share with the outsourcing provider. Therefore, the security of confidential data would be harmed. In addition, outsourcing policy of Amazing Destinations will impact the emotions of employee in the other departments thinking that they would be outsourced next time. In some cases, outsourcing provider focuses solely on driving down the costs and the quality of the systems would be compromised. Therefore, we argue that IT department of Amazing Destinations should be kept in-house. 3.4.4 Ensuring that IT Department is fit for Purpose Rather than outsourcing, we could train the staffs in the IT department to improve development skills for information systems. Otherwise, we could recruit expert IT employees to develop the new systems. By keeping IT department in-house, we could avoid the some drawbacks described in the above. If outsourcing is necessarily needed, Amazing Destinations can make modular outsourcing. Modular outsourcing is a kind of outsourcing the portions of a system. By doing modular outsourcing, Amazing Destinations can keep its IT department in-house. As an analyst, I would prefer modular outsourcing for developing the new systems. So that, Amazing Destinations can keep IT department in-house for system maintenances. Developing new systems only would be outsourced.
  20. 20. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 20 Conclusion Amazing Destinations is a travel agency specialises in adventure holidays. Throughout the report, we analysed the hindering issues and data duplication problems that the company is currently faced. We advised the way forward and the two new IT systems that Amazing Destinations furiously needs. Moreover, we also discussed about the biggest organisational changes because of the new business model. And, we also suggested about the IT department should be outsourced or in-house.
  21. 21. Information Technology Planning COMP- 1647 Page 21 References Book References Efraim Turban, (2008) Electronic Commerce: A Managerial Perspective Available from: www.pearsoned.co.uk (Accessed Date: 15th September 2015) University of Greenwich, B.Sc (BIT) COMP 1647, Information Technology Planning University of Ottawa, (2012) Data duplication: an imbalance problem? Available from: www.site.uottawwa.ca (Accessed Date: 27th September 2015) Website References Management Information Systems www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Management_information_system (Accessed Date: 27th September 2015) Information Technology Outsourcing www.cio.com (Accessed Date: 29th September 2015) Benefits Vs Risks of Outsourcing IT www.smallbusiness.chron.com (Accessed Date: 29th September 2015)

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