With more than 5 million hotel rooms available, hospitality is big business across the U.S. At C-Suite level, every hospitality company works to optimize efficiency of its operations. In this fast-paced industry, success depends on timely performance of customer-facing actions like check-ins and reservations, as well as internal activities like shift management, payroll and inventory control. Focusing on infrastructure solutions could improve your organization’s operational capacity and increase profitability.
Conduct an Infrastructure Audit
Outdated or ineffective infrastructure is a common challenge facing established hospitality companies. Equipment that was new 5 years ago is now often obsolete, because technology has advanced so far and fast that newer methods are available to do, well—almost anything. Conducting an audit of your IT infrastructure could show you’re only getting a portion of the performance you need with your current systems. This level of visibility is often hidden in the complexity of the system, making it difficult to gauge the health of your infrastructure or the levels of functionality.
Data delivered by an audit can help identify issues needing attention and determine whether a system upgrade would benefit you. We aren’t only talking about Front of House and administrative areas, although that’s often where the quickest wins and excellent long-term efficiencies can be found. Even divisions like F&B, Housekeeping, and Maintenance can benefit from upgrading to the latest in hotel property management technology.
Optimize Legacy Systems
It’s not always financially viable to discard existing or outdated “legacy” infrastructure, especially those that are only a few years old. Many of these systems remain usable with patches and updates, provided your IT team is qualified to support them. In some instances, it makes sense to add on complementary technological tools to improve performance.
Research by Accenture shows 91 percent of executives surveyed identified some legacy components they could make use of to support their digital objectives. Many of these could be integrated with new technology to achieve a more robust infrastructure.
Look to the Future
Improving operations by any means other than a complete overhaul can be “penny-wise and pound foolish” as the saying goes. It’s important when considering an infrastructure revamp to look carefully at your long-term business strategy, to ensure you don’t allocate budget or capital to updating systems that don’t align with future plans. If your organization is currently considering shifting to a Rooms-Only model, for example, it doesn’t make sense to spend money bringing F&B up to speed. Your hospitality company will benefit far more by implementing an IT plan and strategy that encompasses your whole technology eco-system.
Opt for Cloud-Based Services
Most hospitality legacy systems still run on internal servers, even in large conglomerates. That’s all well and good while you have a fully-staffed, in-house IT team, but it simply doesn’t make sense to replace an aging server when you can shift to a cloud-based solution. Such systems are more secure against hacking than any less-than-optimally-managed internal systems, especially those with outdated technology. In addition, the cloud enables streamlining of many processes, reduction of staff, and ultimately the improvement of customers' experiences by facilitating all sorts of electronic interactions you don’t currently offer.