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CHAPTER 4 Guiding IT Principles for Airports-- A Common Framework Airports are rapidly adopting new technologies so that they can better serve customers and tenants. An airport's IT infrastructure, including its applications and data, is becoming a strate- gic asset, helping the airport increase efficiency and reduce operational costs while improving and expanding service offerings. Given the critical importance of the IT infrastructure to the air- port's successful operations, it is vital that a set of IT principles be established to guide IT invest- ments and implementations. Intended to be enduring and seldom changed, IT principles are general rules and guidelines developed to make the IT environment as productive and cost-effective as possible. They should be developed jointly by the CIO, CEO, and key stakeholders to align with airport strategic goals and visions. The development of IT principles is influenced by the following: Current systems and technology--the set of information resources deployed within the air- port, including systems documentation, equipment inventories, and network configurations. Computer industry trends--predictions about the usage, availability, and cost of computer and communications technologies. IT principles are used in a number of different ways: To provide a framework within which the airport can make conscious decisions about IT. As a guide to establishing relevant evaluation criteria, thus influencing the selection of new products or systems. As drivers for defining the functional requirements of the IT infrastructure. To help delineate transition activities needed in the IT master plan to implement an architec- ture that supports the airport's strategic goals. 4.1 Sample IT Principles Table 4-1 lists typical IT principles. These may vary based on airport size and complexity. 4.1.1 Principle 1: Compliance with IT Principles These IT principles apply to all departments within the airport. Having everyone abide by them ensures that decision makers get consistent, reliable information. Otherwise, the manage- ment of information would be rapidly undermined by exclusions, favoritism, and inconsistency. 4.1.2 Principle 2: Maximize Benefit to the Airport IT decisions should provide maximum benefit to the airport as a whole. Decisions that sup- port airport-wide goals and priorities have greater long-term value and bring a better ROI than decisions made from the perspective of any particular department. This means that IT priorities 44

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Guiding IT Principles for Airports--A Common Framework 45 Table 4-1. Sample IT principles. must be established by the entire airport. Some departments may have to concede their own pref- erences for the airport's benefit. IT components should be shared across departmental boundaries, and IT initiatives should be conducted in accordance with the airport master plan. All system sourcing options must be evalu- ated so that decisions bring the greatest value possible. Conduct a risk/benefit analysis and closely examine ROI (economic and strategic) and total cost of ownership before making funding decisions. 4.1.3 Principle 3: IT Is Everybody's Business All departments in the airport should participate in IT decisions to ensure that IT is aligned with business needs. Stakeholders and technical staff responsible for developing and sustaining

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46 Information Technology Systems at AirportsA Primer the IT environment must work as a team to jointly define IT goals and objectives. By closely collaborating with the IT organization, departments should reap maximum benefits from the IT infrastructure. 4.1.4 Principle 4: Business Continuity Because IT systems pervade all aspects of airport operations, the reliability of IT systems must be considered when they are being designed and used. Each department must be able to carry out its business functions regardless of hardware failure, data corruption, natural disasters, and other events. When an organization depends on shared systems and applications, it's important to plan in advance for interruptions and determine how they will be managed. Recoverability, redundancy, and maintainability should be addressed at the time of design. Suggested activities include: Periodic reviews of project implementations and ongoing operations. Testing for vulnerabilities. Assessing applications for impact on the airport mission, determining level of continuity required, and making recovery plans. Designing alternative or redundant mechanisms to ensure continuity of mission-critical operations. 4.1.5 Principle 5: Enterprise Architecture Developing an enterprise-wide architecture used across the airport is much better than imple- menting smaller, duplicative systems for particular departments. Having duplicative systems should not be allowed because it is expensive, makes poor use of scarce resources, and causes conflicting data to proliferate. 4.1.6 Principle 6: IT Responsibility The IT organization's primary responsibility is to provide leadership in developing quality, airport-wide IT infrastructure that supports the airport's strategic plans. IT analyzes new tech- nologies and how they might be employed at the airport. The IT organization defines and imple- ments IT processes and infrastructure to meet requirements defined by business units (function- ality, service levels, and cost) while maintaining security and data integrity. IT should also create a process for estimating total lifecycle costs and prioritizing capital projects. 4.1.7 Principle 7: IT Quality IT products and services must be delivered with a level of quality that is appropriate for the business need. Achieving quality involves: Planning and collaborating with stakeholders to understand and meet their requirements. Defining metrics that indicate quality. Applying repeatable processes. Carrying out adequate testing of systems. Putting service level agreements in place when working with vendors. 4.1.8 Principle 8: IT Lifecycle Management The lifecycle of each IT system will be planned and managed from conception through retirement to ensure adequate maintenance and support and to maximize the value of the IT environment. IT

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Guiding IT Principles for Airports--A Common Framework 47 will provide staff to help with planning and costing efforts. Investment decisions will be based on total cost of ownership. During the planning phase, the expected life span of a system will be defined and any changes needed to existing infrastructure will be addressed. Each system will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is kept up to date and that maintenance agreements are enforced. 4.1.9 Principle 9: Data Constitutes an Asset Accurate, timely data forms the foundation for accurate, timely decisions and is an asset that has value to the airport and must be managed accordingly. Data stewards must be assigned who have the authority and means to manage the data they are accountable for. 4.1.10 Principle 10: Shared Data To improve the quality and efficiency of airport operations, airport personnel must have timely access to accurate data. Maintaining data in a single application and sharing it across departments is less costly than maintaining duplicate data in multiple applications because it avoids rekeying the same information and promotes data consistency. For new applications, common data-access policies must be adopted and enforced to ensure that data remain available to the shared environment. 4.1.11 Principle 11: Accessible Data Data must be accessible for users to perform their functions. Access to data allows staff to save time and leads to efficient and effective operations, faster response to information requests, and better service. The way information is accessed and displayed must be sufficiently adaptable to meet the needs of a wide range of airport users. 4.1.12 Principle 12: Common Vocabulary and Data Definitions Data must be defined consistently, in understandable terms, throughout the airport. A com- mon vocabulary facilitates effective communication, system interfaces, and data exchange. 4.1.13 Principle 13: Data Security Data, including classified, proprietary, and sensitive information, must be fully protected from unauthorized access, manipulation, and disclosure. Therefore, security must be designed into systems from the beginning. 4.1.14 Principle 14: Technology Independence As much as possible, IT systems should be independent of specific technology choices so that they can run on a variety of platforms and be operated and upgraded in the most cost-effective, timely way. Standards must support portability. Application programming interfaces should be developed so that legacy applications can interoperate with applications and operating environ- ments developed under the airport architecture. 4.1.15 Principle 15: Ease of Use Applications must be intuitive and easy to use, with underlying technology that is transparent to users. Minimal training should be necessary.

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48 Information Technology Systems at AirportsA Primer 4.1.16 Principle 16: Requirements-Based Change Changes to applications and technology should be made only in response to documented business needs, with effective airport operations as the key goal. Change management processes should be developed and implemented. 4.1.17 Principle 17: Control of Technological Diversity Technological diversity must be controlled to minimize the cost of operating in and maintain- ing multiple processing environments. Using common technology across the airport brings ben- efits from economies of scale and better management of administration and support costs. 4.1.18 Principle 18: Interoperability Software and hardware should conform to defined standards that promote interoperability for data, applications, and technology. Standards help ensure consistency, support from multi- ple vendors, and supply-chain integration. A process must be established for setting standards, periodically reviewing and revising them, and granting exceptions. 4.1.19 Principle 19: IT Staffing/Outsourcing Investment in human resources is critical to the success of IT initiatives. The IT organization must build and maintain expertise in key skills. Outsourcing may be used to respond to variable workload requirements or acquire specialized skills. 4.1.20 Principle 20: IT Vendors Vendors with high market share and good track records for quality systems and delivery are preferred. Minimize the number of vendors.