What are some things to avoid in order to be successful with new hospitality technology?
The benefits of upgrading a hotel with the latest technological advancements are multiple. Improved guest satisfaction, the creation of new revenue channels, and more efficient hotel operations are only a few of the positive results possible from utilizing the latest hotel technology.
However, introducing new technology in hotels also brings opportunities for errors if a hotelier isn’t well prepared and provided with adequate support. Here are a few of the top pitfalls to avoid when implementing hotel technology.
“Merely pursuing technological change is not enough – we must implement a culture of change if we are to be successful in that transformation.”
Neglecting to Consider Privacy and Security Measures
The top priority facing hoteliers when implementing technology is enabling sufficient privacy and security measures. Credit card fraud and identity theft are the biggest concerns for hotel security, as the number of data breaches has continued to rise over the last few years. In 2014, there were 32 data records stolen each second, with the bulk of cases occurring in North America (76 percent). Many of the largest hospitality brands have already proven susceptible to data breaches, and it’s brought light to the urgency of this situation.
The second-highest security threat to the hotel industry is cybercrime. Attacks on hotel networks to gain unauthorized, undetected access to data are becoming more common.
Setting up strong defenses for networks and creating comprehensive protocol when it comes to protecting guest data is absolutely necessary. Monitoring all network activity and scheduling routine meetings to discuss should also be a priority as this will help for timely detection of anything that seems strange, which will allow for any issues to be addressed in a proactive fashion.
Not Doing Enough Preliminary Research
Before new hotel technology or systems are installed, it’s very important to do a substantial review of what will need to be invested beyond just finances. “Doing your homework” can have significant results with how effective the implementation will be.
For instance, a hotelier should have a realistic idea of how long the full process will take and what impact it will have on the hotel as a whole. Other considerations include staff training and post-installation marketing. Conversations with various vendors of the different systems involved are also necessary to coordinate collaboration between multiple vendors to facilitate any integration.
“We must seek synergy of technology and organizational process. But merely pursuing technological change is not enough – we must implement a culture of change if we are to be successful in that transformation,” said Walter M. Bortz, vice president of Administrative & Information Services at The George Washington University.
Lack of IT Support
Poor internal IT support can be detrimental to efforts to get a property equipped with cutting-edge hotel technology systems, which can lead to loss of time and money. A simple way to combat this is by partnering with a reliable and trusted third-party vendor to provide reliable support and supplement onsite resources. Seeking a more affordable solution with third-party vendors can keep the technology budget reasonable while giving hotel management confidence.
Forgetting to Consider the Genuine Value
Staying current on the latest technological advantages and trends available to the hospitality industry is a smart move in order to be competitive and relevant. Being aware of how any technology in hotels enhances guest’s stay and improves operations is important when considering value.
Utilizing hotel technology systems or devices that do not positively impact day-to-day interactions with guests at multiple phases of their travel journey or improve the ability of staff to fulfill their roles translates into low to minimal ROI. Evaluating the intrinsic value of different technology in hotels can help save money and increase guest engagement in more effective ways.
Inadequate Marketing of New Hospitality Technology to Guests
One of the biggest mistakes hoteliers can make is not actively marketing technology upgrades and the benefits it will have on the guest experience. Sharing information with guests about how a hotel has sought to meet their digital needs can improve brand perception and justify increases in ADR. Overall 70 percent of total travelers, both leisure and business, say hotel technology and digital offerings have strong to moderate impact on booking decisions.