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Easing tech anxiety: How top hoteliers can find peace with innovation

Op-Ed: Eric Wong delves into the prevalence and cause of tech anxiety, and how innovative solutions can address these challenges in the hospitality industry

Hotels are under a huge amount of pressure to digitally transform as a way to streamline operations and gain a competitive edge. Add renewed travel volumes, steep inflation, and persistent labour shortages to the mix, and hoteliers have every reason to experience elevated anxiety when it comes to their digital investments.

While the “tech anxiety” phenomenon isn’t unique to hospitality, hoteliers must take note: A recent survey found that a staggering 94 percent of senior executives in the United States and United Kingdom report having tech anxiety. Data security, impacts on the customer experience, and adapting to disruptive innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) are just some of their biggest concerns.

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While there are valid reasons why emerging tech might keep hotel leadership up at night, a unified cloud approach ensures that you’re not losing sleep over your digital transformation initiatives.

Anxieties stem from fragmented tools, data security

Technologies catering to hospitality operations are advancing rapidly, with the global smart hospitality market projected to more than triple between 2022 and 2026. Cloud services, which include third-party software and platforms accessible via the Internet, are dominating digital transformation efforts in the hotel industry.

A 2023 survey by Deloitte found that hoteliers believe cloud computing has the greatest potential to make significant performance improvements in the next five years, ranking well ahead of AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, and robotics.

Cloud services can support a wide range of hotel operations, including guest processing, staff and resource management, customer experiences and personalisation, bookings management, and efficiency monitoring. While many hotels still operate with on-premise applications and manual processes, cloud services are significantly more efficient and cost-effective to use and maintain, not to mention much easier to scale.

So why the tech anxiety? In practice, it’s not as easy as making the necessary cloud upgrades and hoping that everything will fall into place.

The same Deloitte study also revealed that for nearly half of hoteliers, fragmented tech and data solutions are barriers to successfully integrating new technologies like cloud services. If your hotel is adopting disparate tools and systems, no matter how sophisticated, these siloes will inevitably lead to unrealised efficiency gains, frustrated employees, and unsatisfied guests.

Using and manually cross-referencing separate tools takes hotel staff more time and resources to do their jobs well. This approach is also more likely to result in errors and inconsistencies, which can trickle down to the guest experience. What’s more, you could be missing out on valuable insights that would otherwise elevate your services and set your hotel apart from competitors. For example, integrating guest apps with your guest management and housekeeping systems can make it easier to offer more personalised experiences—such as suggesting amenities or timing housekeeping schedules based on the guest’s history and preferences.

Additionally, hoteliers accustomed to legacy systems and on-premise services may have anxiety related to data security when transitioning to the cloud. This is understandable, considering that the average global cost of a data breach is US$4.45 million, with some hotels experiencing breach damages upwards of US$100 million.

A unified approach to cloud services

Leading hoteliers understand that digital investments aren’t enough on their own to stay competitive and streamline operations. Hotels must also ensure that these technologies are optimised and adaptable and genuinely support hotel staff and guests from day to day. Enter…a unified cloud-based PMS solution.

Put simply, unified cloud services consolidate all of your operations tools—from reservation systems to guest management—in a single platform. This approach has several benefits over both on-premise systems and fragmented cloud services:

  • Drives more efficient hotels. Integrating tools in one platform simplifies all aspects of hotel management and ensures that information is up-to-date and easy to access. Hotel staff can do their jobs faster while avoiding errors, which can lead to considerable cost savings and happier customers.
  • Reduces overhead. Hotels can lower the maintenance and IT costs associated with managing disparate systems and on-site servers. Unified cloud services also have pay-as-you-go models to ensure that you’re only purchasing the resources your hotel actually needs and uses.
  • Supports higher-quality, personalised guest experiences. Unified systems make it easy to track customer interactions, preferences, and booking history. Staff can find this information quickly and use it to offer more unique services that encourage repeat business.
  • Enables flexibility in an evolving market. Unified cloud services are easier and more cost-effective to maintain, scale, and adapt. This means hoteliers can integrate cutting-edge solutions and offerings without the headache of a system overhaul.
  • Keeps your data secure. As long as you choose a reputable provider, unified cloud services offer stronger security measures than on-premise systems.

How to ease tech anxiety

If you’re preoccupied with concerns about your hotel’s tech investments, a unified cloud service can put your anxieties to rest. 

With a modern technology solution, hoteliers can easily centralise reservation, guest management, and revenue systems in the cloud.

This makes hotel operations more efficient and reduces staff workloads, all while making guest experiences more seamless and enjoyable. If you’re concerned about data and privacy, many cloud-based solutions offer robust security protocols so you can instead focus on giving guests exceptional value during their stay.

Investing in a unified cloud platform is key to navigating digital transformation in hospitality. If you’re in the market for a solution, consider a provider that is committed to supporting you on this journey and serves as a reliable technology partner for years to come. 

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