Advanced technologies being deployed in the hospitality space, including the promotion of and move to cloud computing, certainly raise those age-old questions of cost versus benefit. Perhaps most importantly, it makes sense to consider the potential hazards of new technologies, as well as how to best manage or control their implementation and daily use.
Some of these issues were raised in a recent article on the Pros and Cons of IoT Trends in Hospitality on the Smart Meetings web site.
Among benefits, the author noted the use of hospitality service software in such areas as guest room automation or predictive maintenance. For example, with computerized management for hospitality work orders, “Engineers can access work requests that need to be performed on the property to increase guest satisfaction, eliminating the need for a paper request.”
Today’s service optimization software platforms can further integrate cross-discipline functions, giving engineers real-time room status, so they know when they can tackle a maintenance request, while management and front desk personnel can keep tabs on any assignment’s progress and completion.
However, we are also reminded of the “Dark Side” of hotel technology, especially as more functions network into cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT).
The security of data of all types remains a prime concern. Data breaches at major hotel entities have been publicized, but there are other potential hazards beyond the always regrettable compromising of guest data. These include the hacking of a property’s HVAC or security systems; ransomware attacks; or, even, employee sabotage or anti-competitive behavior such as making or posting fraudulent reservations or reviews.
Confronting any potential hazards begins with leadership that is genuinely interested in today’s technology applications, how they work and their potential advantages. Understand how any technology can be scaled to accommodate growth, yet control costs; have a way to measure effectiveness; and, whenever possible, drill down so that staff are capable and comfortable with the systems they are being asked to use on the job.
If we learn how to carefully pry open that Pandora’s Box of technology, we can achieve more productive, profitable and personally rewarding hotel operations.