There has been a shift towards accepting cloud computing as the norm, and this was evident at the most recent Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC). HITEC is the “world’s largest hospitality technology show” and brought over 5,000 attendees to the Los Angeles Convention Center for a display of products, companies, and individuals that are shaping the hospitality industry. Throughout the conference, the recurring theme was cloud services and how they were revolutionizing the hospitality industry.
Scott Barneson, senior manager of Amazon Web Services, one of the main speakers at HITEC 2014 discussed the new technology adoption trends in the hospitality industry. “As options for how to use the cloud, such as hybrid deployments and subscription models continue to increase in variety and number, the question is no longer should we move to the cloud, but rather how should we move to the cloud to give our organization the greatest competitive edge”
Infor’s Vice President of Industry Strategy, Bernard Ellis, also commented on cloud adoption during his presentation, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Build Datacenters.” He discussed the history of cloud adoption in the hospitality industry, and noted that while cloud computing admittedly started out with a rocky foundation; hospitality professionals quickly understand that turning to this mobile-based system speeds up development time and reduces costs.
Hotel cloud technology is hot, and if anyone doubts that, they need to only look at all the mergers and acquisitions of the past year: Oracle is to buy Micros for 5.3 Billion. Priceline has acquired direct-booking marketer Buuteeq in addition to OpenTable. Most recently, they’ve added the cloud-based hotel property management system Hotel Ninjas to their roster. Amadeus spent $500 million on hotel specialist Newmarket International. More and more, hotels are looking outside their walls for technology development, innovation, and support. Big brand-name firms are competing to acquire technology companies that offer cloud solutions for hotels.
The hotel industry has reached a point where operators are really beginning to realize the benefits of switching from in-house enterprise software to a cloud based system. Savvier investors now drive US chains, and they are pushing for change. The change has created a booming market for hotel technology, specifically for those that offer new cloud based solutions and services. A few years ago, people assumed cloud computing was a trend – however, its growth has been so explosive that it is now beyond the bounds of trendiness.
By Ronnie Coleman, Sales Executive at StayNTouch, Inc.