While not all guests (yet) are digital natives, the majority of them use their mobile as their primary way of interacting with the world around them. So, not surprisingly, when it comes to their hotel stay and travel technology, consumers have high expectations – they want hotels to make their life easier and less stressful. Not only that, but they expect to be recognized and seek a high degree of personalization throughout their entire journey; pre, post stay and mostly importantly during the actual onsite experience itself.
And in staying true to the very idea and ethos of hospitality, where the host is expected to make sure the needs of his guests are met, in recent years, albeit a bit slow, hoteliers have been investing in and adopting various new technologies to meet customer demand. But in a world where new technologies pop up all the time, how can hoteliers keep up-to-date with the latest trends and the many important changes that are emerging in the hotel technology landscape.
Every year, along with many other technology enthusiasts we do a bit of crystal ball gazing and ruminate on an exhaustive number of themes and technologies envisaging which future trends will have the most impact on the hotel landscape – many of which you have heard before from Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality, IoT, Big Data, smart rooms, and mobile engagement… to name but a few. And because technology changes in a heartbeat, even as recent as last month there was yet another article relating to the latest Technology Trends Impacting Hotel Loyalty and The Guest Experience – and there’s still 6 months (give or take) left in the year!
Hotel Technology Trends & The Role of IT infrastructure
While it is important to listen and respond to new and continuously evolving guest expectations, and keep up-to-date with the latest trends, what’s more important is that hospitality providers ascertain if they have the right foundation in place for both guest-focused and back-office operations, as well as new opportunities yet to be imagined.
Many hoteliers now acknowledge that new technologies currently impacting the hospitality sector are transformative; they have the power to push the guest experience beyond today’s standards of excellence. However, if they want to embrace the next generation of technologies to allow them to offer customers a more personalized and united experience, hotels’ first must prepare their infrastructure and networks to support new solutions so that they can operate at peak performance without issue and allow them to handle the increase in traffic and demand for bandwidth. Failure to make changes in their IT infrastructure now will mean a less efficient system that would just not damage their bottom lines but also their customer relationships in the years to come.
Future of Hospitality in the Cloud
The future of hospitality is all about using technology to strengthen guest relationships and improve the guest’s experience while making the day-to-day operations more efficient.
With cloud-based systems, these solutions enable hoteliers to scale quickly, work from anywhere, and get real-time insights into various aspects of their business. Next generation systems offer advanced functionality without the restrictions and overhead costs of being tied down to large, complicated legacy systems. Ultimately, hotels using solutions built from the ground up with Open API technology, like the Cloud, are in better position to scale and prepare for future innovation.
Today, technology is a critical component in delivering exceptional guest experiences in hotels but what’s more important is hoteliers need to ensure that they have the right foundations in place and/or choose the right solutions that will support the technology so that it is useful for guests and creates a better travel experience for them.