Technology is a non-negotiable in the lodging industry. The exciting news is that hotels are able to use technology to provide value-added services and conveniences that personalize the guest experience in more ways than ever. The challenge is that technology is advancing at a pace that makes it nearly impossible to keep up. This is one of the areas in which a third-party management company can be especially valuable.

Hotel brands typically dictate basic requirements like core property management systems, but third-party management companies have the flexibility to innovate beyond these systems and exceed basic requirements. Here are a few areas to watch when it comes to the hospitality tech space:

All About Integration

As it currently stands, most property management and energy management systems are only loosely integrated. For example, the room key system is often interfaced with property management but not with energy or entertainment. Hotels need to get to the point where the guest experience is as seamless as the Internet of Things in everyday life. We will eventually see a level of automation between various systems similar to residences that have adopted smart home technologies.

Don’t Be Insecure

Regardless of the industry, cybersecurity is top of mind in today’s world. More systems are gravitating toward above-premise, diversified data centers. By minimalizing points of vulnerability on premise and consolidating them into data centers, we’re able to remove some of the data security concerns.

Better Property Management

Progress still needs to be made in terms of guest mobility. Mobile check-in, for example, is available in some hotels, but it’s far from widespread or seamlessly integrated. Hertz’s Gold Plus Rewards is a prime example of where guest mobility should look for inspiration. From mobile rewards and alerts to eReceipts and counter-free key pick up, the vision for the ultimate guest experience was integrated from the start.

Be Proactive

Better integration of various systems enables hotels to address issues before they impact guests. Technology like proactive notifications eliminates guest frustrations and maximizes staff efficiency.

Call the IT Guy

Some hotel management companies may act as the IT service provider for their hotels. Instead of having to interface with a middleman IT provider, these management companies are able to keep their fingers on the pulse of how the network is performing and proactively make enhancements and improvements. This also offers a unique perspective in that the management company has a vested interest in success metrics and guest satisfaction scores related to technology.

As tech-savvy brands become the rule rather than the exception, it’s important to be proactive in order to provide the best guest experience possible. Just remember that the best technologies allow businesses to have a more efficient and valuable relationship with their customers.