By Andrew Sanders Vice President, Travel, Transportation & Hospitality
The phrase "digital transformation" is present practically everywhere you look these days. From the boardrooms to the chat rooms, the intensity of the deliberations is palpable. But this concept is far more than a couple of buzzwords put together. The hospitality industry is undergoing a profound technological transition that opens up a new world of opportunities for software vendors and hotel brand operators to excel in the rapidly-evolving landscape.
Virtually every industry is being massively disrupted by the swift adoption of technology. Hospitality is certainly no exception. At its core, our industry is about improving the customer experience with outstanding service and products. The changing manner in which consumers engage with businesses is permanently altering the way to create a competitive and sustainable advantage. High value can be obtained through differentiation and innovation when effectively developing and executing exceptional tech solutions that exceed the expectations of the demanding modern consumer.
One of the biggest mistakes being made by some companies is choosing to merely digitize existing services, which is not truly embracing the digital transformation. Conversely, this transition should be met with a comprehensive and strategic organizational change. Businesses must position their teams to utilize new methods to develop a highly responsive, data-driven strategy based on a culture of innovation and the flexibility to continue adapting solutions in the future while ensuring the ability to integrate everything into existing systems seamlessly.
The fact that the hospitality industry is changing shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, and it would be difficult to find a company that isn't investing significant resources into adapting its practices to keep up with the times. However, while everyone's intent may be the same, there are those that are simply trying to keep up and those who are digital innovators, breaking the mold to develop superior solutions that allow them to stand above the crowd and dramatically increase their share of the market.
The hospitality industry is increasingly susceptible to disruption due to the explosive growth of mobility and internet access, with more bookings now being made on mobile devices than desktop computers. The old ways of serving the public simply aren't enough anymore, and new players are jumping in quickly to offer innovative services that engage consumers deeply to create a highly memorable impression and long-term brand loyalty.
From mobile integration, artificial intelligence, and chatbots to IoT integration, virtual reality, and advanced data analysis, the hospitality industry is experiencing a revolution. To succeed in the new landscape, companies should consult with experts who have a proven track record of successfully developing and integrating innovative tech solutions to create a powerful strategy that blocks out the rest of the noise to rise above the pack.