There is an interesting
report published in the Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management,
Volume 17, Issue 1 & 2 August 2008. I enclose
herewith the Abstract.
Although widely used
throughout hospitality, the management of information technology based
systems is perceived as challenging. Proprietary systems abound, data
integration is problematic and investments are difficult to justify.
Existing research focuses exclusively on the U.S. lodging sector, largely
ignoring the challenges of operating in an international environment. By
interviewing CIOs, this study explores three interconnected issues - the
challenges of managing hospitality IT systems in Europe; chains' short term
system priorities; and forecasted barriers to success. Findings reveal that
similar issues exist in the both U.S. and Europe, and that little progress
is being made on addressing long standing industry wide challenges.
The Abstract is disturbing.
Let’s take ‘data integration is problematic’. This has been so for over 18
years and we are nearly finishing the first decade of the 21st Century.
Yet, visiting many of the current industry standard vendors websites, there
are descriptions such as ‘enterprise, integrated, seamless etc.’ If this
were so, then this report should have been different. Perhaps, the key
question to ask is; Are vendors complacent or are customers not making
demands? Difficult to gauge but surely vendors should be continuously upgrading
and modernizing their software to meet the challenges. Obviously, it does
not appear to be so. Any integrated software should allow Business
Intelligence ‘out of the box’. Quite simply, ask your present vendor if the
Front Office, Back Office, POS and Spa are all integrated. If so, Business
Intelligence should be enabled instantly and provide reports and analysis
without any interface or complex connectivity. This is a simple test to
evaluate if the modules are truly integrated.
What is frightening is the last sentence, ‘little progress is being made on
addressing long standing industry wide challenges’. Even today, with
Banking and Insurance facing its most difficult crisis since last 80 years,
both are focused on building innovative and robust business models to brace
the present and be prepared for the future. Hospitality has not faced such
major turmoil, and yet it is reticent to embrace new best practices.
Banking, Manufacturing and Telco, to name a few, contribute to IT best
practices in their constant drive for continuous improvement. There is a
distinct lack of continuous improvement in the Hospitality Industry. In other fast-paced industries,
they are paranoid about their IT systems being outdated. In Hospitality,
they are paranoid about being up to date.
With an ever changing world
and guests booking more hotels directly and through the web (estimated
travel planning to be over 80% in the US), Central Reservation, web enabled
software and Profile Management (Guest Experience) will be the nucleus, and
critical to the success of chain and independent hotels. There is also
energy management, eco-friendly practices and life style delivery that will
differentiate hotels to meet customer expectations. momentohs® enterprise addresses these issues and
enabled for the future. Imagining the future and building the functionality
and features to meet the challenges is what drives us to be most advanced
hospitality management software today far exceeding present industry