How hotels prioritize tech to sort through the demands of guests and operation teams
CIO at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts says it is important to set clear goals for what a company wants to accomplish with its tech. A panelist say the tech landscape on business value should be assessed.
Hotel company chief information officers speaking at HITEC in Toronto said it can be a challenge sorting through the demands of both guests and on-property operations teams.
Guest needs and wants are constantly changing, and keeping up with that can require significant capital. Operations teams, on the other hand, can have an entirely different set of wants that may or may not confirm to corporate expectations on things like security and cost.
Hotel company chief information officers speaking at HITEC in Toronto (Photo Credit: Hotelnewsnow)
Keeping up with technology
Asked how his company keeps up with the latest in consumer technology, Ken Barnes, chief information officer at Omni Hotels & Resorts, said it can be quite simple. He said it’s important to look at technology beyond just the hospitality industry to stay on top of things.
Marco Trecroce, SVP and chief information officer at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, said it’s important to set clear goals for what a company wants to accomplish with its tech.
Michiel Roelfsema, deputy GM at the Hotel Okura Amsterdam, who represented the operations perspective on the panel, said guest complaints typically aren’t about a hotel not offering specific technologies.
Panelists also noted it’s important not to jump on every trend in technology because some don’t have the staying power to justify the corresponding capital required. Barnes pointed to voice technology as something companies are keeping an eye on, but are still reticent to be an early adopter of.
Prioritizing operational goals
Panelists said they’re often approached by GMs or others in operations with potential new technologies they believe can help their business, but they said it’s important to do appropriate vetting on those solutions and to communicate why they might not live up to the promise.
“You have to assess the tech landscape on business value,” Arthurs said, noting that means disqualifying things potentially due to a lack of return on investment or vendors who are deemed incapable of delivering in the way they promised.
But Arthurs said it’s important to get people on the ground level involved in decisionmaking instead of doing so “at a silo at a corporate office,” since those decisions can be out of touch and inoperable.
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