Strategic Information Systems

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Strategic Information Systems

Table of Contents

Executive Summary3


The Hard Dimension: The Machine Domain6

The Soft Dimension: The Learning Problem Domain7

Company Profile8

Ground Handling Market Share8

EAS Operations Strategy9

Service Level Agreements for the Baggage Handling Service10

Information Systems Strategy11

Information Systems Architecture12

Master Schedule13

Current/New Systems13

Information Availability Current versus Future Needs15

Outsourcing versus In-sourcing of IT and Costs15

Implementation Challenges16

Processes and Business Restructuring16

Cost of Information Systems18


Executive Summary

For the purpose of this assignment, we have assumed that the CKO (or CIO) is appointed to Equity Aviation Services (EAS). This is a ground handling company, which operates from six airports within South Africa and has long-term vision of becoming the largest aviation logistics company in the SADC region and the rest of Africa. EAS provides a number of services to the airline industry, namely Ramp services, Bussing Services, Baggage services, Cargo Hauling and Passenger services.

This report highlights EAS's operations strategic objective and how the information systems department supports this strategy through the strategic use of information systems as an enabling process in achieving the ON-TIME operations strategic objective. The current information systems were analyzed and future needs & Information Systems (IS) strategic improvements recommended, where applicable.


By definition, the term Information System (IS) is not an alternative name for IT. The use of the word system indicates that the users are a part of the information system. At a more abstract level, an IS can be imagined, designed, or proposed without technological references. The IS is a part of a larger social system composed of individuals and groups. In their social lives, individuals, groups, or business units experience information needs whose satisfaction would enable them to solve organizational problems. These organizational problems may be located at the level of the task, process, organization, or industry. Information needs pertaining to a problem can be formalized into a requirements analysis. In this sense, an IS is an answer to information requirements for a particular problem; the IS, combined with new procedures, processes, competencies, and resources will lead to new capabilities that will solve the identified problem with the help of information technology (Anthony, 1965).

In order for a problem to be solved, an IS must be developed or adapted in accordance with the requirements analysis. Approaches and methods for developing an IS have changed with the appearance of new IT capabilities. Each IS development project requires the explicit and formal expression of a stated problem. That formalization expressed through various approaches and formal languages leads to design and implementation phases.

The IS layer is just above the IT layer, benefiting from its services. The soft dimensions are very important in the IS layer. IS participants are numerous (users, analysts, programmers, interface designers, project managers, etc.), and bring a human and organizational dimension to the success or failure of any IS implementation. The hard dimensions are the machine domain of the system where data architecture, storage, processes, inputs, and outputs have to be designed, programmed, and implemented by using IT application packages or by developing a new application. Both the hard and soft dimensions of the IS layer are ...
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