Technology Brings Hospitality Necessary Agility

Written by: Claire Kenney, Cyber HITEC Guest Blogger

Reinvent. Reimagine. Rethink. Reorganize. Rearchitect. Realign. Reinvest.

These words resonate with the contemporary hospitality industry. They are a roadmap for hotel agility. As such, they are a roadmap for hotel success. Adopting this creative mindset equips hotel brands and hotel properties to not only survive, but thrive.

Hotels must remain nimble. Every year, HITEC helps hospitality finance and technology professionals do this by showcasing products and hosting ongoing learning opportunities. This year, HITEC took that a level further to reinvent, reimagine, rethink, reorganize, rearchitect, realign, and reinvest in the conference itself by taking it 100 percent virtual. As a result, the conference did go on — despite a worldwide coronavirus pandemic!

In their Cyber HITEC 2020 education session entitled The Digital Transformation Movement, Lyle Worthington and Nick Price talked about this movement to reinvent, reimagine, rethink, reorganize and all the rest for hospitality operations.

They explained that leveraging technology such as automation and digitization is a leading strategy for hotels – particularly at this time. In fact, they said, this strategy has become so mainstream within hospitality that it is not just a hospitality strategy.

“Digital transformation is more than just a strategy – it is a movement,” Worthington and Price wrote as part of their presentation description.

In their presentation, Worthington and Price described how failing to integrate hotel operations, including both front and back office operations, often leads to failure.

“Digital transformation is how to avoid being the next Blockbuster Video by waiting too long to adapt your business to the changing needs of your customers,” Worthington explained.

Ultimately, digital transformation is meeting the needs of your consumers. Considering COVID-19’s changes and impacts on hospitality, it is particularly important to reflect on how best to remain agile – from customer service operations to company culture to technology implementation to marketing efforts.

For hospitality, embracing digital transformation builds a more sustainable and optimized environment. This is particularly important when considering how best to set up a property and/or hotel brand to maximize 2021’s slated economic boom.

One example discussed in the Cyber HITEC 2020 education session Human Factors: Capital at the Table — remain current for the customer. In other words, hotels should invest in amenities that would be on par or better than what one would have in their own home.

For instance, the type of television set in a hotel room should meet or exceed the type of television your customer segment already owns. Wi-fi is another example of this meet-or-exceed scenario.

These types of investments give hotels a competitive advantage. They foster the above-and-beyond factor marked by top-notch hospitality. From a brand perspective, it makes that brand stand out.

As the Human Factors: Capital at the Table panelists described it: Why would we want to put in rooms what people already have in their homes nowadays?

From virtually any standpoint, reinventing, reimagining, rethinking, reorganizing, rearchitecting, realigning, and reinvesting operations with technology builds a more sustainable and optimized environment.

Ultimately, these assets bolster hotel brands and properties that adopt this movement. They elevate both front-facing and back-office operations.

As we head into 2021 — a year that is projected to bring busy travel — this is particularly important for hospitality to consider. Technologies like digitization and automation enhance a hotel’s competitive advantage.

Claire Kenney is the marketing communications manager at Evention LLC in Chicago, Illinois. She is an official event guest blogger for Cyber HITEC 2020, taking place live October 27-29 and on-demand through November 25. Check back on HFTP Connect for more of Claire’s experiences at HITEC this year.

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