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4 Information Technology Systems at AirportsA Primer Chapter 5 also provides a simple scorecard that can be used to determine the value of a pro- posed IT system. It takes into account both financial and nonfinancial benefits when valuing the system. This scorecard helps in evaluating a single system or comparing multiple systems when budgets are limited and choices must be made. 1.6 IT Systems Architecture Airport IT systems can be very complex. They are often grouped into four conceptual cate- gories and depicted in a layered fashion, as shown in Figure 1-2. The layered architecture ex- emplifies how the systems of one layer act as building blocks for the systems in the next layer. A more detailed explanation of these categories and of other aspects of IT systems architecture appears in Chapter 6. In addition, a list of airport IT systems and brief descriptions are included in Appendix B. 1.7 Checklists--A Common Management Tool Checklists are useful management tools for ensuring consistency and completeness--an example from a related field is the checklist of safety precautions that pilots go through before every flight. When used consistently, checklists are very effective at ensuring that activities are completed in accordance with standard practices. Table 1-1 is an IT system lifecycle check- list useful for ensuring that the IT system lifecycle process described in Chapter 4 has been implemented completely. 1.8 IT Vocabulary The airport industry is full of acronyms and abbreviations that are not readily understood by others outside the specialized world of airports. Information technology also has its own unique vocabulary. To help airport executives sort out the terminology, Appendix C provides a list of airport and IT acronyms and abbreviations along with expansions and brief descriptions. Figure 1-2. Systems architecture.
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Introduction 5 Table 1-1. IT system lifecycle checklist.