Global Hotels and Momma’s Motels
Suppose you work in the IT department of Global Hotels, a multinational hotel chain. Global Hotels runs several specialized business support systems, including a guest reservations system that was developed in-house to meet the requirements of a large company with worldwide operations. Guests can make one-stop online reservations by visiting Global’s Web site, which has links to all major travel industry sites. Global Hotels just acquired Momma’s, a regional chain of 20 motels in western Canada.
Momma’s uses a vertical reservations package suitable for small- to medium-sized businesses, and a generic accounting and finance package. Should Momma’s use Global Hotels’ information systems or continue with its own? In your answer, consider issues such as business profiles, business processes, system interactivity, EDI, XML, e-commerce, and the characteristics of both information systems. What additional information would be helpful to you in making a recommendation? 29 Systems Planning The Information Technology Department
Systems Support and Security Systems support and security provides vital protection and maintenance services for system hardware and software, including enterprise computing systems, networks, transaction processing systems, and corporate IT infrastructure. The systems support and security group implements and monitors physical and electronic security hardware, software, and procedures. This group also installs and supports operating systems, telecommunications software, and centralized database management systems.
In addition, systems support and security technicians provide technical assistance to other groups in the IT department. If a site has a large number of remote clients, the systems support group often includes a deployment team that installs and configures the workstations. User Support User support provides users with technical information, training, and productivity support. The user support function usually is called a help desk or information center (IC).
A help desk’s staff trains users and managers on application software such as e-mail, word processing spreadsheets, and graphics packages. User support specialists answer questions, troubleshoot problems, and serve as a clearinghouse for user problems and solutions. Database Administration Database administration involves data design, management, security, backup, and access. In small- and medium-sized companies, an IT support person performs those roles in addition to other duties.
Regardless of company size, mission-critical database applications require continuous attention and technical support. Network Administration Business operations depend on networks that enable company-wide information systems. Network administration includes hardware and software maintenance, support, and security. In addition to controlling user access, network administrators install, configure, manage, monitor, and maintain network applications. Network administration is discussed in more detail in Chapter 10. Web Support Web support is a vital technical support function.
Web support specialists design and construct Web pages, monitor traffic, manage hardware and software, and link Web-based applications to the company’s information systems. Reliable, high-quality Web support is especially critical for companies engaged in e-commerce. Quality Assurance (QA) Many large IT departments also use a quality assurance (QA) team that reviews and tests all applications and systems changes to verify specifications and software quality standards. The QA team usually is a separate unit that reports directly to IT management