New Research Shows Hotels are Ready for Shared Technology Services
Friday, June 4, 2010
CHICAGO (June 4, 2010) – The emergence of cloud computing and reliable networks has led to an opportunity to dramatically alter the cost/performance landscape for the hospitality industry through the sharing of many technology services across multiple hotel companies. But many questions exist about the model. Are hoteliers willing to give up enough control to make the model work? How could the hospitality industry use a shared services model to generate greater operating efficiencies? What are the opportunities for vendors in this space?
Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), the non-profit trade association for hospitality technology, recently published the results of an extensive research effort into these questions. The position paper summarizes key findings and opportunities based upon the opinions of CIO and top IT strategy executives from about 20 of the largest hotel companies. While some barriers and concerns exist, there is great interest on the part of hotel companies in pursuing this computing model. “We believe that we’re at a watershed moment for this industry. This model can offer efficiencies and performance enhancements that will redefine standards of delivery, quality and performance for hospitality technology functionality for decades,” said Douglas Rice, Executive Vice President & CEO of HTNG.
To be sure, many hotel companies consider certain applications to be strategic, and have no desire to share them. But the survey and analysis revealed a large set of less critical applications and services that most companies were willing to share. Indeed, more than 80% of the participating IT executives were willing to share such applications as guest-room device management, concierge, point of sale, housekeeping, facilities management, and applications for several back-office and human resource functions.
The report proposes some potential “first steps” to fill hotel technology needs that are not adequately addressed today, and where shared services are widely viewed as desirable. Based on the research findings, HTNG selected two potential shared services areas for some initial efforts to define and jump-start the model: shared-service application(s) to manage interfaces to guest-room devices, and a global hospitality data network. “We think that our organization is uniquely suited to bring together hospitality vendors and hotel technologists in order to lay the groundwork for this exciting new operational model for hospitality,” said Rice.
Other areas of significant interest for shared services, which HTNG may explore in coming months and years based on industry interest, include:
- Cloud infrastructure provisioning for hospitality applications
- Concierge applications
- Consumable inventory applications
- Housekeeping management applications
- Point of sale applications
- Purchasing and procurement applications
- Work order management applications
Buyers and sellers of technology alike can benefit from reviewing the report and getting involved in these foundational efforts. Both hoteliers interested and buying shared services, and vendors interested in providing them, will have the opportunity to work together to design, build, and implement one or more solutions to these problems. Those who are interested in participating in these efforts should register their interest in participating in the potential Above Property Systems workgroup on HTNG's Prospective Workgroup Efforts form.