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Information Technology Planning

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Information Technology Planning

  1. 1. Information Technology Planning COMP – 1647 Strategic Evaluation Documents for Amazing Destinations University Banner ID - 000860665 Table of Contents Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................2 Amazing Destinations ...................................................................................................................................2 Evaluation of Current Business.....................................................................................................................3 How Are Things? ...........................................................................................................................................3 How Can We Improve The Amazing Destinations? ......................................................................................4 Information System Requirements................................................................................................................4 How Do We Transform?................................................................................................................................5 Initial Development Study (Feasibility Study)................................................................................................7 What If Everything Goes Out The Windows?................................................................................................8 References ....................................................................................................................................................8
  2. 2. Introduction Amazing Destinations Introduction Amazing Destinations is a travel agency. Their main focus is upon adventure holidays to destinations like, Greenland, Alaska, Burma, etc… They had built up loyal client base. The reason for their success is that they hand out feedback forms at the end of every tour and they reply every feedback with hand written letter assuring that they will consider client’s suggestions. Their trend is based on luxury tours. Their customers are mostly 40 to 60 age groups. However, number of bookings has gone south. They have to reconsider their trend. They decided to change to more rough nature of travel with real adventure and adrenaline for customers. Issues  Some customers don’t like basic living condition  Travelling to remote destinations inherit some dangers in it  Some worry about that the communication may be bad in remote destinations  Marketing will need to improve to make new brand familiar  New destinations need to select with specialists to make sure they are safe  Customer service need to improve with new trend  Not enough man power in IT department  IT systems are not present or yet not efficient Future Plans  Those who don’t like basic living condition will not be eligible to travel  Management will need to set rules like, age limit to 18 and not allow to travel under 18 unless accompany by adult over 25  Those who worry about communication will need to reassure that improvements in communication nowadays  Marketing staff will need to improve along with marketing strategies from paper based to digital to allow potential customers to know what the company is doing.  Country specialists will be dispatched to potential countries to study the destinations before deciding to regard as one of the travel destinations  Customer service staff need to trained about new destinations and update their knowledge and information  Regroup the IT team and found new IT department with competent IT workforce in it  Produce new sets of IT systems for company
  3. 3. Evaluation of Current Business How Are Things? Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats SWOT Analysis stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats which are the criteria for analysing business about how well or not it is doing?; the result of this is to produce better product and better business. Strength  Aged 12 years in travel and tour business and build up 40% loyal clients  Give feedback forms to clients at the end of every tour and reply suggestions with hand-written letters which make the clients’ satisfaction. Weakness  The number of bookings have fallen during the recent recession  Travelling to remote destination may make more rough tour for customers  Communications may be bad in some remote areas  Young people probably can’t afford for holidays due to high University prices  Not enough workforce in IT Department and management have many concerns  No new IT systems developed for 8 years and IT staff are doing nothing apart from support  There is no website for company present as yet  Staffs are consider themselves to be technophobes Opportunities  Travelling to remote parts of the World will cost less than current luxury tours  Improvements in worldwide communications allow travellers to keep in touch with their families even from remote areas  New marketing strategy of digital marketing will cost less than current strategy over time to time  Customers may get real adventure by travelling more remote parts of the World  The agency needs to sell more holidays to more customer to double the client base and improve brand reputation to coupe with new margin of holidays  Government funds available to be spend on disadvantage people  Directors hope to capture half of adventure market which is worth £30million  The Country Specialists will be able to go new destinations first-hand to familiar with people  The marketing strategy must be change from expensive advertisement on newspaper and magazines to digital marketing  Customer service staff need to be trained by Country Specialists Threats  Marketing strategy is poor  New destinations must be safe to travel  Untrained customer service staff  IT department is no use at all  No useful IT systems present
  4. 4. How Can We Improve The Amazing Destinations? Information System Requirements Currently, the agency’s IT department is doing nothing other than giving support to customers with only two staffs at present and all the bookings are accept by telephone and accept payment with only one accounting software and there is no online payment system at the moment. So in my opinion, the company need to have two systems to improve faster services to customers with more convenient way. The names of those systems are –  Booking System  Payment System Booking System This system need to be develop to change the booking and reservation of travellers from telephone based to computerized system which includes both web application and desktop application running together; so that the customer can use the system from online or if they come to agency, the staff can use desktop application at the reception desk –  Customer Information Database  Booking  Special Services Customer Information Database Whenever the new customer makes booking, the system asks for information and issues a unique customer Identification number and store in the Customer Information Database and when that customer make booking, and payments, that customer identification number will be used to query the information about that customer from the database for the system to remember that customer. Moreover, the database also records about frequencies of travel he or she made up to over the past 5 years and based on that information, opportunities for special discounts will be offer to customers. This module creates customer information report to the management level based on daily, weekly, monthly and annually. Booking Customer can make booking from either online or in-person at office using this module. Customer can book without payment or with payment. The difference is, when there is no payment made to particular booking, when there is not enough slot available, the slots with no confirm payment will be overwrite with customers who are willing to pay up front. There are two things this module does. One is confirming recent reservation with payment or another is creating new entry for booking for new customer and make payment one-stop. All the information push up to the customer information database. This module also connects with payment system to accept all types of payment available for customer to use either online or cash. This module creates booking report to the management level based on daily, weekly, monthly and annually. Special Services This module is for offering special services to those customers who meet the certain criteria to become special travellers. There should be different classes for customer like Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. There will be services entitled to each class and by using this module; agency can offer each customer with their eligible class of services like 10% discounts, 1 month membership, 2 months membership, 3 months membership. Memberships include free food, free room charges, etc… The memberships vary with different classes.
  5. 5. Payment System This system is for controlling payments of customers by means of online and offline other than traditional accounting software and simple database like old system the company used to have. Because of this new system, customers can make payments for their holidays directly from web whenever they make booking for their holidays using online payment with credit cards, VISA, MASTER, etc… Actually even this module is discussed separately, it is unseen module because this also build-in in the booking system itself. Another thing which is really a breakthrough in the travel sector is that this module also handles all transactions which the customers made not even in booking but also in their travels. This information regarding all payments will push up to –  Payment Information Database Payment Information Database This database is required for keeping records of payments make from customers for reporting purposes to management level, daily, weekly, monthly, and annually. However, there is one thing left to do when customers make payments from online using credit cards. The system must be able to interface with international payment systems like VISA, MASTER, etc… or even with banks. How Do We Transform? Reasons for changes need to be make In order to make the agency improved, there will definitely be some changes need to be make with regards to changes in IT systems. The system will obviously really big and not enough with current employees. There will be some issues the company will face and need to overcome as quickly as possible. Some of those issues are –  Shortage of IT Employees  No Knowledge in IT  Hesitate to Use and Refuse to Change Existing System  Management Don’t Know How and Who to Deal? Shortage of IT Employees Obviously we can’t run this new computerized system with only two IT staffs. We need to hire more employees who meet the criteria to manage, run and give support. No Knowledge in IT When changing to computerized system, only IT team is not enough. The system is going to be use by end-users who are normal employees with no prior knowledge with IT systems. Hesitate to Use and Refuse to Change Existing System Not knowing what exactly is what keeps from changing into new environment. We should change this mind set of employees. Management Don’t Know How and Who to Deal? When we change to new system. There should be someone with high rank to deal with management on daily basis. Currently, management have many concerns with IT and they don’t know who to deal with when it comes to IT business.
  6. 6. Changes need to be make for above reasons Where there is a disease, there should always be cure. In my opinion the following changes need to be made to ensure that IT systems success and improvement of Amazing Destinations. They will be the biggest changes of the company with regards to new IT systems –  Recruitment of More IT Employees  Intensive Training Session for Existing Employees  Group Discussion  Select and Appoint One Staff as Head of IT Recruitment of More IT Employees Currently, the IT team of the company is made up of two employees which is obviously not enough. We need to strengthen our workforce by hiring more IT employees to run the new system; so that there will be enough manpower to support the existing employees, should they encounter any problems with new system. Intensive Training Session for Existing Employees The new system cannot run only with more IT staffs. We also need to run intensive short course training to existing staffs, such as receptionist, cashier, etc… of new system flow and IT knowledge. By doing this, employees will have more confidence with themselves in using the new IT system. Group Discussion Group discussion is one of the requirements to improve the agency. Management should arrange this discussion with existing employees and IT employees to improve everyone’s knowledge and opinions on the benefits of using computer system rather than using traditional manual systems. In this way, everyone from head to toe will know the pros and cons of using computer system. Select and Appoint One Staff as Head of IT After everything is in its place, there should be one person who can manage all things to stay in shape. Management should select one person from the group of IT employees to function as head of IT team to shoulder the consequences of the whole system. In this way, staffs will be motivated and follow the head. Moreover, management will know who to contact and who to get information about IT team. Impacts Whenever there is a change in organisation, some impacts will definitely have upon employees and organisation itself. Among them, the following are the most critical impacts that will have when changes are made upon organisation –  Insecurities of employees’ mind sets  Financial impacts upon organisation  Employees point of view about IT training
  7. 7. Initial Development Study (Feasibility Study) In order to keep in-house development As of current position of Amazing Destination, they definitely cannot do in-house development. Obviously the reasons is very clear that they need more of the following to reconsider along with various costs which associate with those decisions –  Manpower and Expertise  Hardware and Software Availability Manpower and Expertise Nothing can be done if there is no one to do it. Manpower should be the first factor when considering development cost. We need enough manpower with good expertise to build the system on our own. There will be some cost incur to hire developers. Hardware and Software Availability After we have enough manpower to build the system, we need additional hardware and software for the system development, such as bar code scanners, receipt printers and etc…. as the hardware required to build and test the system. There will also be software requirements for development tools. Out-source development considerations based on above reasons This is actually one of the final decisions of feasibility study based on the study of Manpower and Expertise and Hardware and Software Availability. To be blunt, because of the above reasons, we need to consider moving into out-source development. Moreover, there will also be other factors which may or may not need to decide whether to give Out-Sourced or In-House. However, the above two factors are the main recipes for deciding Out-Sourced or In-House. In my opinion, this project for Amazing Destinations will probably more efficient if we give to Out- Sourced development. The reasons are quite clear to me that currently the company not have enough manpower and expertise to do it by themselves not to mention the hardware and software availability is very poor. By giving Out-Sourced development, the company can reduce many cost to hiring more IT staffs with good expertise in development and they can also avoid not only the risk of failure from unexperienced staffs but also they can get quality training from experienced developers. On the other hand, we could build our system In-House if we have enough manpower and expertise with certain advantages over Out-Sourced. If we consider moving to In-House development we need to found a team of developers with expertise to hire and function as company employees and build the system In-House. The main advantage of In-House development is obviously the security of system being develop. Bottom line, the system is only ours and no outside parties will need to know the aspects and internal operations of the company. Another key advantage is that the company can reduce the development cost wherever possible which is not possible if doing Out-Sourced or buy from outside. In-house development considerations If we are going to do in-house development regardless of how much the company need to spend to make IT department ready for research and development centre, we need to hire new IT employees and also outside parties who are more experienced than regular staffs by means of contract. When that happens, hardware and software requirements will also need to fulfil prior to making in-house development. In-house development is more secure than out-source as the source codes are not released to outside which is why can be restrict as needed.
  8. 8. What If Everything Goes Out The Windows? “No one can deny what God wants to do”. That is the motto I want to portray when I’m writing and explaining about this thing. Everybody and everything have their limits. All of the thing we work so hard for will be somehow vanished forever without warning. So, as that saying, “Prevention is better than cure”, we must always be prepared to tackle whatever challenge throw at us. When we talk about disaster and its recovery, we can categorize the kind of disaster into two main types –  Natural Disaster  Man Made Disaster We can definitely say like this because there is no other way that disaster can cause. When we talk about Natural Disaster, it include every major problems which are the product of storms, fire, quakes, etc… Moreover, when we talk about Man Made Disaster, we can take consequences which are the product of hackers, viruses, etc... In the case of Amazing Destinations, whenever in the event of disasters which destroy all the servers the company runs on, we must prepare some solutions –  Disaster Recovery Data Centre (DR Site)  Real-Time Replication of Data Disaster Recovery Data Centre (DR Site) For Whatever Problems This plan is everything about data. We don’t have to differentiate the types of disasters and make plans for each of them if we make this plan for all of those because this disaster recovery sites will be used for whatever reasons. We can use these DR sites centres for storm, fire, quakes, viruses, hackers, criminal activities like bomb threats, riots, and etc… For every IT systems, data is gold. We have to prepare up to three separate location, another countries or another parts of town to build backup data centres running together with real-time dedicated connections with primary data centre for disaster recovery. For better results, I recommend using three different continents for backup data centre locations, such as in America, Europe and Asia. Real-Time Replication of Data Data replication between those data centres will be real-time, ensuring that the data will be back up every seconds, keeping safe from primary data centre in the event of whatever happen, happen. The purpose of this is if primary data centre is down for more than 10 seconds for whatever reasons, all the working data traffic and IP connectivity will be automatically route into nearest backup data centre to ensure business continuity. References Booking Live, 2012. Booking Live. [Online] Available at: http://www.bookinglive.com/resources/tour-reservation-system [Accessed 29 September 2014]. Wikipedia, 2011. Wikipedia. [Online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appointment_scheduling_software [Accessed 29 September 2014].

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