Feasibility Study


As discussed in the problem definition, feasibility is a main concern of ABC Travel. It was therefore essential that it be addressed throughout the design of the system. The categories within the feasibility study that need to be discussed are: economic, technical, operational and organisational feasibility.

Technical Feasibility: Most of the software and services are available with regards to this project. PHP, Apache, MYSQL and the Linux web server are all open source and readily available to the public. There are also many companies that would host the website. The only constraints however are regarding the online booking engines, for although many booking engines are available, Academic and business users have very specific requirements which cannot be catered for with current technology. The solutions to this problem are either to provide a form for the users to fill in which will be emailed to ABC Travel who will contact them, or to provide them with ABC Travel's contact details such as an email address or phone number. Both are viable options and technologically feasible. Security is also a factor when assessing technical feasibility.

The booking engines are purchased and so it is assumed that they have the required level of security. It is therefore determined that the system is technically feasible.




Operational Feasibility is concerned with the impact the system will have on the every day working practices of ABC Travel. At present, the core sales are generated via email, phone and direct purchasing in the shop. It is predicted that the introduction of online sales will release time for staff to assist more offline customers, which would increase the company's revenue. The online information about the company and travel arrangements will provide customers with the information they need without having to contact the company directly, which would further release the staff's time to perform other revenue generating tasks. Moreover, as the website will be on a search engine, it is predicted that an increase in ABC Travel's customer base will occur. Therefore, the time saved due to online services will be utilised to provide services to the larger customer base that the website will generate.

Economic Feasibility: The main question that has to be considered in the feasibility study is whether the system is financially viable. All feasibility studies for information systems should include a cost-benefit analysis. A cost-benefit analysis is the process of evaluating the costs against the benefits of the system. The costs and benefits can be tangible or intangible. An intangible cost or benefit are very difficult to measure and are usually determined through assumptions.

Three options were considered by ABC Travels. They could buy an Application Service Provider (ASP), which provide companies with a standard e-commerce site, 1.5% transaction fee and 5000 as a setup fee. This however was not considered suitable for ABC as they recognised that the site had to be unique so as to appeal to the different categories of users that frequent their premises. An other option was to hire a professional web designer to design the web site. The staff at ABC were not sure what they wanted the website to offer and were familiar with the concept of programmers charging large fees for changes to the requirements after they had been defined. This option was therefore postponed until they had a clearer idea of what the website was to offer and look like. The final option was to use a student to design the website and perhaps employ a professional web designer afterwards once the requirements had been defined. The latter option was therefore undertaken.

Maintenance Issues

A requirement of the system is to keep it constantly updated. ABC Travels needed a colloquial way to make small changes to the deals other sections in the website. Mr X advised me that the staff at ABC have limited knowledge of HTML and web design and it was not feasible to employ a full time web designer to maintain the site. There were therefore two options considered: buy a package such as Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage to maintain the site, or to design a separate system to enable the staff to make small changes. As discussions continued, it became clear that the first option was not feasible. Furthermore, as the web development programs are very sensitive to change, the staff could accidentally make unwanted changes, which would require additional time and money to rectify and could warrant the need for professional help. The only viable option therefore was to build an internal system which would allow ABC to change specific aspects of the website frequently, simply and safely.


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