Using BCCD To Produce An ISIT Strategy Computer Science Essay

Published:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The aim of this is assignment is to produce an IS/IT Strategy for Sunshine Tours an Independent Travel Company based across two sites in Chilwell and Westford, Westfordshire UK. To aid with the development of the strategy the Business Critical Computing Decision (BCCD) framework would be utilised. The major advantage of this framework is that it has been developed specifically for small and medium enterprises and is driven by business imperatives of the business. It is using this proven tool that has been deployed by many businesses over the years since the 1980's.The development of a successful IS/IT strategy for Sunshine Tours which would allow IS/IT to effectively support the operations of the organisation as well as being strategically aligned with the vision and mission of the company enabling Sunshine Tours to face the challenges of the current and future market.

BCCD Step 2

Core Competencies

The core competencies are the aspects of a business that enables it to achieve competitive advantage while at the same time deliver outstanding customer service. There are some common tools that can be used to assist in identifying the core competencies of Sunshine Tours, a SWOT analysis will be carried out. This analysis would provide the strengths and competencies of Sunshine Tours and will allow management to agree up front on these.

SWOT ANALYSIS OF SUNSHINE TOURS

Strengths

Loyal Workforce

Strategic Location to affluent customer base

Sunshine Tours possess expertise in the travel industry and marketing

Connection in the travel industry

Controllable website with good Google ranking

Weaknesses

Limited use of technology to optimize business processes

Decline in the market due to credit crunch

HR/Personnel functions are not supported by IS/IT systems

IT skills among staff limited

Opportunities

Tapping into niche markets

Potential younger customer base (students at local university)

Benefits from providing customer access to suppliers' costs cutting offers by using its knowledge of supplier's offers and customer's preferences.

Treats

Decline in the market due to credit crunch

Customers switching to DIY on-line booking

Cost of on-line advertising increasing

Fierce Competition

Loss of valuable information due to the looming staff cuts

As stated previously the core competencies are those capabilities that are critical to a business achieving competitive advantage. The following list of core competencies has been developed for Sunshine Tours as a result of the SWOT analysis.

Core Competencies for Sunshine Tours

Its Independence as a small company managed and run by its owners allowing for rapid implementation of changes that could affect business positively.

Professional and personal commitment from the managers given their dedication to quality service delivery as well as their personal stake to ensure that the business succeeds.

Specialisation in quality short breaks worldwide but expanding their niche market to include students interested in short trips.

Quality of their 4 and 5 Star hotels boosting confidence in customers that they source good quality facilities and service.

Tailor made holidays-the ability to customise vacation packages to suit the needs of their individual clients.

Strategic Location

Customer Base/Staff Loyalty-Having maintained close relationships with their clients and having provided quality service this would ensure that they maintain their existing client base as well as expand. Additionally having their staff being committed to the organisation due to the length of time they have been employed they would be additional motivated to perform at the highest levels.

Expert Guidance and efficient bookings

Issues - Sunshine Tours

Products/Services

Sunshine Tours currently offers a standard range of vacation packages with the main clientele being high end customers. They pride themselves on the ability to offer highly customisable packages to their clients. The products offered generally contribute earnings to the business products such as Air tickets, Coach Tours/Theatre Trips, - These two products do not make a significant contribution to the business and the continued marketing of these products may have to be looked at. On the other hand products such as the Wedding Packages offer opportunity for high value added/higher margin product with volumes being good once the market is adequately targeted. Far East, Australia/NZ, USA Long haul packages have traditionally been a good margin of return but have been impacted due to the credit crunch; with the return of disposable income to clients this product has great potential especially due to the ability to be highly customised.

Sunshine Tours also has a strong relationship in the Spanish Hotel market and has great expertise in this area allowing them to offer great service to their clients the same holds for the Cruises market which is also great for the credit crunch environment. Another issue arising from the services offered by Sunshine Tours is the method of customer support and enquiry currently offered. Customers wishing to make an enquiry or reservation can do so by phone, email or via the website. In the current environment more and more clients are turning to the website to seek information and make bookings on vacations although Sunshine Tours currently has a website it is not at the capacity of some of its competitors and this is where the future trend in holiday bookings lays and this is an issue which needs to be addressed to ensure they maintain current customers and secure new business. Generally they offer a fair range of products however Bruce is seeking to expand its specialist products through partnerships with independent operators that have found it difficult to maintain independent operations due to the economic environment.

Markets

With the current credit crunch there is a general reduction in disposable income for travel with the industry experiencing declines as much as 15%. The market has now shifted to aggressive online bookings with traditional walk in customers declining. In order to stay competitive Sunshine Tours must boost its online presence and provide services to rival and surpass its competitors. The benefit Sunshine Tours has over its competitors however is their knowledge of the niche market and relationships with partners in the industry. Once successfully managed can give Sunshine Tours a competitive advantage. It should be noted also that the travel market and its shifts towards online do it yourself bookings have been growing and provide immense revenue generating potential. However this market is extremely competitive and Sunshine Tours MUST leverage on IS/IT and business experience if they are to gain competitive edge in the market.

IS/IT

There is no clear objective for using current IS/IT systems to support business processes efficiently. Existing pc's and applications are adequate for basic functions for current operations but have been found to be clearly wanting in others most notably the two main systems used by Sunshine Tours TRAVSYS and ViewData Plus. The existing computer systems are also unable to run the latest data processing suites hampering the staff's ability to Produce quality products and in a timely manner. Most of the IS/IT functions are managed by Bruce with arrangements for with a 3rd party for additional support and expertise. A review of existing IS/IT systems are done periodically in conjunction with the outsourcing company. The services delivered appear to be adequate thus far with phone support, e-mail helpdesk, off-site backups and ad hoc maintenance as required.

Another area of concern is the connectivity between the sites which has been viewed as slow and is seen as an area for improvement with the need for remote access presenting itself as well. Concern has also been raised about the reliability of the backups which have not been tested in quite some time and can be an issue in terms of recovery of data in case of any failures. The systems and applications between sites are also not integrated and as such the true benefit of the IS/IT investment are not being achieved with loss of time and efficiency due to redundancy in completing the manual processes as well as the lack of synchronisation between sites and duplication of information on the servers.

Strategy

Sunshine Tours business strategy is to tap into niche markets and provided highly specialised packages to its clients as the best affordable rates. This is achieved to the expertise of staff in the industry as well as combining with partners to deliver the best quality rates and services possible.

Workforce

Sunshine Tours has a small dedicated workforce with most employees working for the company for a number of years. This helps to contribute to employees delivering quality service due to their commitment to the organisation.

Costs

At present the cash flow for Sunshine Tours is stable and operating costs for both outlets are relatively fixed. However it has been noted that online costs are increasing and the current economic environment is proving it difficult to maintain the costs of the outlets and staff.

External Communication

The external communication with partners in the industry is a key contributor to Sunshine Tours by networking with other industry partners this affords Sunshine Tours the ability to deliver specialised products. As a means of maintaining links and building new networks Bruce maintains and tries to continually expand this network by attending business conferencing. Additionally, the IS/IT function is outsourced and this requires communications with the outsourcing company to ensure that services are provided in a reliable, prompt efficient manner.

IS/IT Audit - Sunshine Tours

This audit is a detailed examination of Sunshine Tours' current IS/IT systems.

NETWORK

The Chiswick office is supplied with an ADSL line which is fed into a Draytek Router and is in turn VPN'd into the Westford office with a Netgear branded router. There is a permanent B2B VPN tunnel between the sites. The LAN setup at both sites is CAT5e with 10/100Mbps switches interconnecting the workstations with the various printers being shared out on the network.

SERVER

Dell Computer Corporation PowerEdge 700

Bus Clock: 800 megahertz BIOS: Dell Computer Corporation A00 02/02/2004

1536 Megabytes

Installed Memory

c: (NTFS on drive 0)

79.99 GB

36.62 GB free

e: (NTFS on drive 1)

122.93 GB

39.90 GB free

TRAVSYS

TRAVSYS is a travel booking system employed by Sunshine Tours. It has been in operation for ten (10) years. It is being used by Anne - Manager (owner), Barbara (Accountant). Details of payments received from the customers are entered into the TRAVSYS system to create a payment received record and customer receipts.

Function

Sales Ledger, Purchases Ledger, Bookings

Hardware

Dell Server - PowerEdge 700

Software

Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition - Service Pack 2, Small Business Server Restricted Service Pack 2

Links

None

Support

Technical support is outsourced remote and email support. There is no one physically at the location to support the application.

Interview Comments

TRAVSYS does not provide quality output for presentation to customers. TRAVSYS is old and limited. It lacks details of current offers and is not sophisticated. It is an old system that stores very limited customer data with limited time discount from suppliers.

Summary

The system is very limited unlike present day travel software. It is unable to be integrated with the other systems which increases workload of staff. The TRAVSYS application is limited in terms of management reporting. Data must be exported to generate reports.

VIEW DATA PLUS

VIEWDATA PLUS which is used by travel consultants to access travel agent teletext bookings across the internet.

Function

This software provides access to travel agency and teletext service for bookings.

Hardware

All client workstations / PCs

Software

Windows Internet Explorer

Links

It is interconnected with access to suppliers' websites. No existing links to TRAVSYS.

Support

Technical support is outsourced remote and email support.

Interview Comments

An out-dated system that stores basic customer data, and also does not provide details of current offers and limited time discounts from suppliers. It also lacks presentation qualities

Summary

This system is minimalist at best as it lacks integration with other systems

SAGE

SAGE is the present accounting system in use by Barbara the accountant at Sunshine Tours. It is used to manage the company's accounts with data extracted from TRAVSYS system.

Function

SAGE manages Sunshine Tours accounts ledger.

Hardware

Workstations / PCs

Software

Windows XP or Windows 2000, Microsoft Excel

Links

There is no present links available. No existing links to TRAVSYS.

Support

Technical support is outsourced remote and email support.

Interview Comments

Lacking in output qualities as info needs to be rekeyed separately and is also no linked with TRAVSYS.

Summary

To ensure system functionality to the highest, SAGE needs to be linked to TRAVSYS so data can be exported to SAGE from TRAVSYS for the inclusion in company reports when compiled.

IS/IT Wish List

Upgraded and integrated online Booking System with flexibility of making reservation changes based on customers' requests.

Upgraded Sage accounting system for automated invoicing of customers.

Integrated database to maintain proper and accurate customer records, enquiries and requests.

Connection of all pc's and systems on a LAN.

Technical support to provide assistance when IS/IT related problems arise and to provide training in relevant areas.

Desktop publishing software and relevant training to prepare brochures and standard but attractive looking letters to customers.

Remote access to LAN and applications for Anne (Email)

Broadband internet and email access for authorised members of staff.

Improved Network Infrastructure

Improved Data Management (Databases)

IS/IT Opportunities

Improved External website for Sunshine Tours that can facilitate automated customer bookings, payments and enquiries

Customer Relation Management system for marketing new and existing customers.

BCCD Step 3

Vision

According to Anne the owner if Sunshine Tours her vision of the type of services Sunshine Tours offers to customers are as follows.

Commitment to personalized service from first contact, through efficient booking of your break or holiday, monitoring your stay away and return to the UK.

Professional and experienced assistance in tailoring your break or holiday to meet all your needs. All at no extra cost

Excellent value for money as all breaks are sold direct and not through travel agents.

Total security for your booking. Your break or holiday is safeguarded by ABTA and Civil Aviation Authority; we are fully bonded members of ATOL.

Vision Statement

"Sunshine Tours is committed to providing first class professional service by offering highly customisable packages to our clients ensuring quality prior to and during your stay. We are determined to provide excellent value for money by providing or services directly and ensuring your trip is safeguarded. "

Mission Statement

To provide our customers with first class service utilising our on-line bookings systems combined with our courteous professional experienced staff catering to all our customers' needs.

Critical Success Factors

Critical Success Factors (CSF's) are the key areas where things must go right for the business to flourish. The CSF's for Sunshine Tours are as follows:

Establishing a greater web presence

Networking with other partners in the industry

Ensuring customer satisfaction

Reducing Operation Costs

Integration of the systems

Flexibility

BCCD Step 4 - Identifying Priority Business Processes

CSF/BP Grid

To assist with determining what should be the priority business processes for Sunshine Tours drawing from the previously completed BP/CSF matrix we would be able to determine priority processes. This involves plotting count against quality for each process on the CSF/BP grid.

Number of

7

9

A

CSF impacts

6

B

B

5

1,8

4

6

2, 4

C

3

3, 7

5

D

2

1

0

10

1

2

3

4

5

Process Quality Rating

The large font indicates big burner processes; the bold indicates processes most critical and critical for improvement.

Business Process/CSF Matrix

The aims of this step (step 4) Identifying Priority Business Processes are;

To identify and evaluate business processes

To prioritise processes needing improvement

Business process

Critical Success Factors

1

2

3

4

5

6

C

Q

E

1

Customer Enquiry

x

x

x

x

x

5

3

1.0

2.

Travel Consultancy

(bespoke products)

x

x

x

x

x

5

3

1.0

3.

Travel Booking

x

x

x

x

x

5

3

1.0

4.

Accounts Received (Money In)

x

1

3

2.0

5.

Ticket/Booking Confirmation

x

x

x

x

4

4

1.0

Critical Success Factors (CSF's)

Establishing a greater web presence

Networking with other partners in the industry

Ensuring customer satisfaction

Reducing Operation Costs

Integration of the systems

Flexibility

Quality Rating (Q) Priority Rating (P)

5 Needs no improvement. A Most critical for

improvement

4 Works well, room for

minor improvement B Critical for improvement.

3 Functions, several areas for improvement C Important for improvement.

2 Process in place but not functioning D Other

1 Embryonic

Effort (E) is total person effort devoted to the process.

Importance (C) is the number of critical success factors (CSF's) impacted by the process.

The Priority Rating (P) was filled in only after the CSF/BP priority grid was completed

BCCD Step 5: Defining Improvement Projects

Business Process/IT Matrix for Sunshine Tours

IS/IT Systems

PP No.

Business process

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

A1

Customer Enquiry

Travel Consultancy

(bespoke products)

Travel Booking

Accounts Received (Money In)

Ticket/Booking Confirmation

X

X

4

A6

Travel Consultancy

Travel Consultancy

(bespoke products)

Travel Booking

Accounts Received (Money In)

Ticket/Booking Confirmation

X

X

X

4

A8

Travel Booking

Travel Consultancy

(bespoke products)

Travel Booking

Accounts Received (Money In)

Ticket/Booking Confirmation

X

X

X

3

A9

Accounts Received (Money In)

Travel Consultancy

(bespoke products)

Travel Booking

Accounts Received (Money In)

Ticket/Booking Confirmation

0

B2

Ticket/Booking Confirmation

Travel Consultancy

(bespoke products)

Travel Booking

Accounts Received (Money In)

Ticket/Booking Confirmation

X

3

B3

Customer Enquiry

Travel Consultancy

(bespoke products)

Travel Booking

Accounts Received (Money In)

Ticket/Booking Confirmation

X

X

4

Business processes are listed in priority order. Crosses in the cells indicate that the specific system is used for that process.

Quality Rating, Q, represents the Quality of IS/IT support rating based on the rating descriptions below. As illustrated on the BP/IT Matrix, each business process may have more than one system.

10 IS/IT support is excellent

it covers all necessary elements of the process and all the interconnections between sub-processes within the process

Consistent data and IS/IT usage runs throughout the process.

8 IS/IT support is generally good

some aspects could be improved

most of the interconnections between sub-processes are well supported and consistent

There are few gaps.

6 IS/IT support is fair

most parts of the process are supported

there are clear and consistent guidelines for transferring data from one part of the process to another

Even though, occasionally, this cannot be done electronically.

4 IS/IT support is poor

some support for some parts of the process

but major gaps or areas where the support is inadequate

those parts which are supported do not, generally, link electronically

2 IS/IT support is embryonic

with a few elements of support only

0 No IS/IT support

Defining Three Improvement Projects

Sunshine Tours Project 1

Project Name - Website Upgrade with Interactive Online Bookings

Purpose and Description - This project is concerned with the upgrade of the Sunshine Tours website which was created but does not provide the level of functionality and accessibility that can be found on competitors website. Additionally with the owner's stated goal of seeking to keep pace with the shift of customers to on-line travel bookings by increasing its online focus with the objective of increasing on-line volumes to 25% from 2% within 2 years; a fully functional and accessible website is critical.

Processes Affected

Customer Enquiry

Travel Booking

Marketing Operations

Size - Medium: £ 50,000.00 and workload 1 man-year

Risk - Medium: high size, high structure

Time Scale - Medium: 8 months

Constraints - One constraint is finding an appropriate IS/IT resource who is familiar with the web development technology on which the current website exists and who can use his/her expertise to upgrade from the current website. Another constraint is a dependence on Sunshine Tours banking providers to facilitate e-commerce facilities and electronic payments directly from the website to their bank account, this infrastructure is highly complex and involves a number of security issues such as website security, encryption techniques and the protection of highly confidential customer data such as credit card numbers and account numbers.

Sunshine Tours Project 2

Project Name - IS/IT Integration Project

Purpose and Description - This project deals with the overall upgrade and integration of existing software systems to allow Sunshine Tours to cost effectively connect both sites at Westford and Chilwell to improve service delivery as well as eliminate redundancies manual processes and rekeying of entries.

Processes Affected - All

Size - Medium: £ 35,000.00 and workload 1 man-year.

Risk - Medium: high size, high structure

Time Scale - Long: One year

Constraints - With most of the IS/IT functions being currently outsourced this would involving relying on a third party for most of the implementation. Additionally with no full-time IT personnel and most of the internal functions handled by Bruce who also performs additional functions proper management and oversight of the project may be at a disadvantage.

Sunshine Tours Project 3

Project Name - IS/IT Infrastructure and Network Upgrade Project

Purpose and Description - This project deals with the general upgrade of existing IS/IT infrastructure of Sunshine Tours to ensure stable reliable communication between sites via a stable fast connections, improvements in data transfer and data backups. The infrastructural components considered here are network infrastructure, software upgrade/installation, and a database management system.

Processes Affected - All

Size - Medium: £ 70,000.00 and workload 1 man-year

Risk - Medium: high size, high structure

Time Scale - Medium: 8 to 12 months

Constraints - Proper management and oversight of the entire upgrade process and lack of expertise in house to perform the necessary tasks.

BCCD Step 6 - Producing the IS/IT Strategy

IS/IT Strategic Intent - Sunshine Tours

IS/IT Strategic Intent Statement

The aim of the IS/IT Strategy is to strategically align the IS/IT of Sunshine Tours with its Vision and Mission to ensure that IS/IT is contributing significantly to the business process. At the same time satisfying the established critical success factors all aimed at enabling Sunshine Tours to achieve a sustained competitive advantage.

The Role of IS/IT in Sunshine Tours

IS/IT at Sunshine Tours has not played a major role in driving the business operations of the company. The company's business of providing customizable vacation packages to its niche market traditionally did not leverage heavily on IS/IT. However due to the economic decline and the shift in the market to online bookings in order to gain a sustained competitive advantage Sunshine Tours must seek to fully embrace IS/IT. Additionally with the owner's vision to increase online business from 2% to 25 % and reduce in house cost IS/IT has to play the lead role in pushing this drive.

To ensure that IS/IT is effective it must be guided by an IS/IT strategy and essentially aligned with the business strategy of Sunshine Tours in order to create a competitive advantage. In this particular case management was responsible for recognizing the importance of using information systems as a strategic tool in improving the business processes. This can only do well for any strategy which is developed and ensuring it is implemented properly.

Currently IS/IT is restricted to accounting and in house bookings mainly and is used a tool within the company but not adding any significant value. The role of IS/IT is to fully connect each site, integrate existing systems at each site and enhance data transfer and communications between each of the cross functional areas. Primary emphasis would be placed on utilising the current hardware and systems as far as possible in an effort to the expenditure on new technology. In addition to optimizing operations in Sunshine Tours, IS/IT in will also seek to expand its customer base and promote its services via the website. In summary, the role of IS/IT is to create competitive advantage for Sunshine Tours in an industry where the internet and online booking is growing rapidly.

Technical Infrastructure

Hardware and Networks

Local Area Network

The Local Area Network (LAN) configuration will be an Ethernet connection; mainly because it is already used within Sunshine Tours and also because it is current standard wired LAN technology used today. A Fast Ethernet will be used with a network speed of up to 100 Mbps, this will enable Sunshine Tours to facilitate faster communications between sites and ensure reliable backups. The choice of topology design is a star topology. The Fast Ethernet LAN will require category 5e twisted pair coaxial cabling. This topology and technology was chosen because of its ease of implementation, speed, and ease of troubleshooting ability. With the implementation of the upgraded LAN this would ensure efficient, stable connectivity between offices allowing for proper integration of software between sites over the air thereby reducing redundancies by eliminating manual procedures as now exists. Additionally the network should be future proof to cater for scalability and possible future growth within the organisation as well as cater for future enhancements in technology

Servers

The existing Dell PowerEdge 700 could be used as a backup server with two new Dell PowerEdge 2900 servers being purchased one to run all applications and act as a primary controller and the other to host the online and web services. It's hardware specifications includes 2 Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 series 2.66G Hz processor, 48GB (12 DIMM slots): 4GB Fully Buffered DIMMs 667MHz, 750GB 7.2K RPM Universal SATA 3Gbps 3.5-in Hard Drive, Dual Embedded Broadcom NetXtreme II 5708 Gigabit Ethernet NIC, Integrated SAS/SATA RAID 5, 48X IDE CD‐RW/DVD ROM Drive, Dell 17" Analog Flat Panel, Symantec Backup Exec 11d and configuration for performance and data redundancy. Its operating system specifications will include Windows Server 2003 R2, Standard Edition with SP2 and Novell NetWare 6.5 SP5. This would ensure that TRAVSYS and VIEW DATA PLUS will be able to run on all Local Area Networks managed by Novell or Windows. Its Database Specifications will include Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard. The server's hard drive will be partitioned into a public working drive and a backup drive

Laptop and Desktop Computers

Currently, there are a total of ten (10) low end computer systems utilised by the company split between the two In order to run all applications efficiently it is recommended that the eight (8) pc's used by staff be replaced with machines that can support the proposed data transaction processing applications for Sunshine Tours.

These machines should be Dell OptiPlexTM 740 desktops with AMD AthlonTM  64 X2 Dual Core Up to 4GB of Memory and 533MHz Dual Channel 256MB graphics card. Integrated Broadcom Gigabit5 (LAN on Motherboard). 19 inch flat panel monitors should be purchased to complete the desktops.

For the Managers Anne and Bruce it is recommended that they be given laptop to facilitate remote access to network resources from offsite particularly Anne since she requires access to her email and to make updates to the company's website. The recommended choice of laptop is the Dell Inspiron 15, the specifications are

Processor - Intel Pentium Processor T4400 (1M Cache, 2.20 GHz, 800 MHz FSB)  Specifications - Processors

Operating System - Genuine Windows XP , 32-bit, English

Memory - 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz

Hard Drive - 80GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)

CD/DVD Drive - 8X CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)

The Dell Inspiron 15 also is not high end and is not equipped with the latest specifications but it will satisfy the requirement for the users and customers in the hotel.

Printers

At this time no upgrades are recommended on the printers. The existing hardware would be used until such time as it is deemed inadequate.

Standardisation of Personal Computing Hardware, Network

As for the supplier of the systems it is recommended that all computer systems be purchased from Dell. This would eliminate compatibility issues while at the same time being cost effective, Dell also boats excellent customer service and support.

Software Build or Buy

Sunshine Tours, requirements do not call for customized software and as such commercial off the shelf software will be purchased. The advantages to this approach include acquiring fully tested functional software with little or no system bugs, accessibility, available support and expertise, and costing.

Symantec Anti-virus Enterprise Edition will be purchased as the anti-virus/anti-spyware solution for the enterprise offering good functionality and rated highly at PC Magazine.com. It is recommended that a licensed desk top publishing package such as Microsoft Publisher be purchased for producing brochures and flyers as advertising for the company.The data integration with the Sage Finance package will require some level of customization and building. Existing Systems such as Sage and TRAVSYS- might need updating/licensing for new software versions.

For the website this function is currently outsourced, however due to the desired direction of the company this position should be made a full time position with a skill web designer/web master with excellent knowledge of Java and Html programming.

Standardisation Particularly of Personal Computing Software

The PC's and laptops being purchased will be equipped with Windows XP operating system, using Microsoft Office 2007 as the main office application. This is suitable for Sunshine Tours and will not have bugs that exist with the later version operating systems.Symantec Anti-virus Enterprise Edition will also be installed on all pc's and laptops with the ability to be updated with the latest virus definitions and protection. Microsoft Word will be used for letters and documents. Microsoft Excel for recording price lists for the various travel packages excel documents can also be imported and exported from Sage if required. Microsoft Outlook will be the standard email software and key application used for communication between managers.

Data Distribution

Sunshine Tours data and information distribution will be possible through the use of the Local Area Network (LAN) which connects all systems. The LAN's infrastructure will allow distribution of data throughout Sunshine Tours using email or using an established intranet. Data can also be shared with external customers via the use of the company's website. The improved data distribution process adds value to the interaction between each business process. Access to data will be based on authentication methods where authorised users (such as the managers) will be granted access based on established policy.

Data Sharing

Information should be shared between the different functional departments at Sunshine Tours to optimise efficiency and accuracy in the daily operations. Individual customer bookings should also be shared between sales and accounts departments.

Management Framework

Restraining vs. Enabling Policies

Restraining Policies

These are policies which Sunshine Tours must formulate and take into consideration when working with IS/IT systems. The security involved in the collection, processing and storage of customer data and must be considered and necessary steps taken to formulate data security policies to ensure effective data security. Professional issues must also be considered the management of Sunshine tours must take into account professional standards and good practice as it relates to information systems management. Legal issues must also be considered and taken into account when formulating IS/IT polices, with Sunshine Tours establishing a policy that ensures conformity to the Data Protection Act 1998.

Enabling Policies

Enabling policies are those which support and promote the development of useful information systems, processes and services (UOH, SISPM unit 20). These polices assist in promoting confidence in IS/IT ability to support change management. A policy could be the provision of proper ergonomics and a proper environment for computer use as well as ensuring a safe work environment for employees.

Investment

The estimated cost of the overall project is £155,000. This can be broken down as follows:

Project

Cost

Online Booking System Upgrade Project and Website Upgrade

£ 50,000.00

IS/IT Centralisation and Integration Project

£ 35,000.00

IS/IT Infrastructure and Network Upgrade Project

£ 70,000.00

Total

£155,000.00

Outsourcing

Sunshine Tours has very little in-house IS/IT capability and expertise as a result the resources required for the IS/IT projects must be outsourced to an external provider. The IS/IT integration, network upgrade and software implementation projects will require outsourcing. The services of an IS/IT manager with expertise in project management would be required to manage the outsourcing process with vendors and oversee projects. The outsourcing process must also include a clearly defined service level agreement for each project that is agreed upon by both the parties.

Training

Training is a key element in the success of the entire project with lack of basic IT skills being identified as a key contributor in time wastage. The training for Sunshine Tours staff members will be structured to update staff on any updates in existing software and familiarisation with new software. Training should be coordinated between the vendor and the IS/IT Manager. Adequate documentation and manuals must also be supplied by the vendor for reference by staff. Since the workforce at Sunshine Tours is relatively small training can be done one location at a time.

Ownership of Systems

The heads of each business unit within Sunshine Tours will be the owners of the systems. The owner for each system or project is as follows:

No.

Project

Owner

1

Website Upgrade with Interactive Online Bookings

IS/IT Manager

2

IS/IT Centralisation and Integration

IS/IT Manager

3

IS/IT Infrastructure and Network

IS/IT Manager

Support of Systems: Functional or Centrally

The support for the systems at Sunshine Tours would be centrally done through the IS/IT Manager who would have overall responsibility. AS highlighted earlier each member of staff would be trained with basic IT skills in an effort to have them address basic problems before escalating to the IS/IT Manager. The overall support function would continue to be outsourced since this is still the most cost effective method at this time. All reports escalated to the IS/IT Manager which cannot be handled by him would be forwarded to the outsourced helpdesk.

Development of Systems/Architecture

Due to Sunshine Tours not having an in-house IS/IT staff the development and upgrade of the Network Infrastructure would need to be outsourced. The consultant may decide to bring in an assistant on the project if they so desire but at no additional cost to Sunshine Tours. Updates would be purchased for the Sage, ViewData Plus and TRAVSYS systems, the customization and integrations of these systems would also have to be developed by an outsourced consultant. With specific regard to the development of the website this can be outsourced to a consultant who would be paid a one-time development fee and subsequently and full time web site administrator would be hired to manage the web site due to the importance the website is poised to play in the growth of the organisation.

Management Framework

The management framework will consist of teams for each project with the co-owners sponsoring the various projects. The teams will consist of the managers from both offices, the company accountant who would act as the head for her designated role. Bruce who is also the IS/IT Manager would represent IS/IT. Finally an expert user familiar with the systems from both offices would round off the project teams. The owners/managers have the responsibility to ensure that each project is continually aligned to the IS/IT strategy. To facilitate this regular monthly meeting should be held to update all involved on the progress and any issues faced and suggestions for moving forward. Due to the number of roles held by Bruce and his need to travel on business consideration should be given to hiring a full time IS/IT Manager to ensure that the IS/IT at the company is always aligned and driving the business forward. This individual should have adequate knowledge and experience in IS/IT especially in the area of e-commerce since this is the future of the business.

System Portfolio

New and Improved Systems

Online Booking System and Website-New website to be developed

Sage Accounting System-Updates to be Purchased

TRAVSYS -Updates to be Purchased

ViewData Plus-Updates to be purchased

MS Office 2007

Completed Project Summary

No.

Projects

Size

Time

Constraints

Risk

Benefit

Sponsor

Project Manager

Initial Action

1.

IS/IT Centralisation and Integration

Med

1 year

Lack of resources.

Med

Centralised IS/IT.

Improved communication between Departments.

Owners

(Anne & Bruce)

IS/IT Manager

Appointment of a Full time IS/IT manager

2.

IS/IT Infrastructure and Network Upgrade Project

Med

10 mths

Lack of IS/IT skills.

Security Concerns.

Hardware and Software Incompatibility

Med

Reliable IS/IT structure.

Improved Efficiency.

Owners

(Anne & Bruce)

IS/IT Manager

Source 3rd Party Service Provider

3.

Website Upgrade with Interactive Online Bookings

Med

8 mths

Lack of Knowledgeable Personal with Web Design Skills

Med

Customer Convenience.

Advertising to more potential customers.

Improved efficiency

Owners

(Anne & Bruce)

IS/IT Manager

Determine Areas for Improvement

Completed List of Improvement Projects and Do-Able Action Plan

Projects ->

Year/Month

IS/IT Centralisation and Integration

IS/IT Infrastructure and Network Upgrade Project

Website Upgrade with Interactive Online Bookings

Customer Relationship Management System

Catering and Stock Management System

Human Resource Management System - Complete with payroll and staff scheduling

IS/IT Support and Helpdesk System

2010/March

Appoint IS/IT manager

Tender process for vendor/service provider

Identify resource with technical skills

2010/April

Gather Requirements

Firm up requirements

Requirements gathering

Select helpdesk software

2010/May

Select Vendor and conduct meetings

Firm up requirements

Gather Requirements

Firm up requirements

Install helpdesk software

2010/June

Analysis & Design

Acquire hardware & software

Decide on application

Select HR Software

Test run of helpdesk system

2010/July

Select Web Developer

Decide on application and appoint vendor for implementation

Install selected Software

Completion

2010/August

Develop Infrastructure

Implementation

Design

Install application

Testing

2010/Sep.

Review Design

Gather requirements

Testing

Training

2010/October

Testing

Testing

Design system

Training

2010/Nov.

Implementation

Training

2010/Dec.

Sign Off

Sign off

Implementation

2011/January

Conduct integrated testing

Acceptance testing & sign off

2011/February

Acceptance testing & sign off

Communication Procedures Statement

Due to the nature of the project and the impact on the entire company a meeting would have to be held by the owners Anne and Bruce upon completion of the strategy formulation process. The intention would be to communicate to the staff the intended changes and the impact that IS/IT is intended to have on the operations of the company. Any decisions made by the management team would be channelled down to the staff with room for comment on positive and negative feedback.

The team identified in the management framework (ideally the managers) will be responsible for communicating the progress of the project with their relevant staff members on a monthly basis. For immediate changes and urgent notices communications to staff members would be done via memorandums, and supervisors. Minutes of the meetings held by the project management team would be recorded and used to inform of changes and keep the staff up to date of the decisions made by the team. To facilitate proper communications any concerns raised by staff would be noted by the Manager/Supervisor and taken back to the committee for their consideration.

Of critical importance is having constructive dialogue by all parties involved with clear productive discussions. The communication process is a two-way process and the input of everyone involved should be regarded as valuable. The continued by in by everyone involved would go a long way in ensuring success of the implementation.

Writing Services

Essay Writing
Service

Find out how the very best essay writing service can help you accomplish more and achieve higher marks today.

Assignment Writing Service

From complicated assignments to tricky tasks, our experts can tackle virtually any question thrown at them.

Dissertation Writing Service

A dissertation (also known as a thesis or research project) is probably the most important piece of work for any student! From full dissertations to individual chapters, we’re on hand to support you.

Coursework Writing Service

Our expert qualified writers can help you get your coursework right first time, every time.

Dissertation Proposal Service

The first step to completing a dissertation is to create a proposal that talks about what you wish to do. Our experts can design suitable methodologies - perfect to help you get started with a dissertation.

Report Writing
Service

Reports for any audience. Perfectly structured, professionally written, and tailored to suit your exact requirements.

Essay Skeleton Answer Service

If you’re just looking for some help to get started on an essay, our outline service provides you with a perfect essay plan.

Marking & Proofreading Service

Not sure if your work is hitting the mark? Struggling to get feedback from your lecturer? Our premium marking service was created just for you - get the feedback you deserve now.

Exam Revision
Service

Exams can be one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have! Revision is key, and we’re here to help. With custom created revision notes and exam answers, you’ll never feel underprepared again.