By Ryan Hamilton
For many of us, the mention of oversized desktop computers and dial-up internet may inspire a rush of nostalgia, lest we forget battling with other family members to ensure a phone call didn’t interrupt our browsing session. While these memories are exactly that – distant memories – it isn’t hard to draw a parallel between those platforms that marked the dawn of the internet age and the legacy platforms that many hoteliers still rely on today. Just as we transitioned from dial-up internet and early computers to today’s sleek and modern laptops, desktops, and tablets, many hospitality leaders have switched from legacy hospitality management platforms to next-generation, cloud-based alternatives.
In fact, hoteliers are flocking to the cloud in record numbers. Gartner research indicates that 85% of enterprises will adopt a cloud-first principle by 2025, and a 2021 cloud adoption survey conducted by O’Reilly shows that Cloud adoption by companies has increased to 90%. Moreover, Statista research indicates that 5% of hotel executives surveyed cite that a more flexible/agile business is a benefit of cloud computing, and 53% of respondents stated that enhanced customer experience was a benefit of cloud computing. In the spirit of digital evolution, these platforms offer hoteliers a more flexible and efficient way of doing business, eliminating many of the frustrations and workflow breakdowns that plagued their legacy predecessors.
As hotels look to continuously improve and scale their offering in lockstep with ever-changing guest demands and a hyper-competitive marketplace, resisting the migration to a cloud-based infrastructure in favor of antiquated technology will leave your property one – or many – steps behind. After all, why would you use dial-up internet when high-speed internet is available?
A Budget-Friendly Efficiency Boost
Often, the prospect of a platform migration (or, in some cases, a complete technological overhaul) may be viewed in a negative light. Running a hotel is no small feat even at the best of times, and purchasing, onboarding, integrating, and training staff on new platforms may inspire feelings of dread amongst busy hoteliers. However, it’s important to note that a platform upgrade isn’t necessarily a costly proposition – in fact, cloud-based systems are notoriously more affordable than the systems they’re replacing. Rather than purchasing expensive systems and equipment for your business, hotels can reduce your costs by using the resources of your cloud computing service provider.
Bottom-line benefits of cloud systems include:
• No upfront hardware and software purchases (CAPEX)
• Along with purchase costs, off-site hardware cuts internal power costs and saves space
• Lower, predictable monthly fees for easy budgeting
• Employees can access systems, improving work from home capabilities
• Reduced spending on compute, storage, networking, and security
• Reductions in operational costs, maintenance, and upgrade expenses
The Post-Pandemic Solution
In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst of change within the hospitality realm from a processes perspective and a technological perspective. As travel came to a halt and hotels worked to streamline their operations, reduce spending, and maximize staff productivity, many hospitality leaders recognized the opportunity that cloud adoption presented. In fact, Gartner research revealed that almost 70% of organizations using cloud services plan to increase their cloud spending in the wake of the pandemic.
Moreover, Hospitality Technology’s 2022 Lodging Technology Study revealed that 58% of hotels are looking at reducing the cost of managing technology this year. Even now, as the hospitality industry hits its stride in the post-pandemic era, more agile digital solutions promise to help hoteliers combat the challenges of an ongoing labor shortage. Instead of relying on a single, legacy platform, many hotels are now embracing dynamic technology stacks composed of a variety of unique and infinitely scalable platforms that seamlessly integrate to create a high-functioning digital ecosystem. With the right tech stack in place, hotels can not only maximize their operational spending but can better identify revenue opportunities that may otherwise be missed via advanced reporting tools, improve operational visibility and empower staff productivity, and improve the experience offered to guests.
Mobility for Guests and Staff Alike
Mobility is an increasingly powerful tool. The on-the-go convenience offered by modern technology has, in many ways, transformed the way we live, work, and interact with the world. The hospitality realm is no exception. Removing the platform constraints that once kept hotel staff tethered to fixed terminals can greatly impact the guest and staff experience.
Using a cloud-based, mobile-centric sales and catering system, hotel staff are alleviated from the strain of administrative tasks and fragmented workflows and able to interact with colleagues, guests, and planners in a more engaged and hands-on manner. Moreover, these mobile-centric platforms allow guests to define their own experience and opt for instantaneous, self-service options where suitable. From FOH touch-points like check-in/check-out to selling event space and booking group travel, cloud-based platforms are easy to manage, accelerate and improve service delivery, help to maintain brand standards, and open up a world of scalability over the long term.
There has, perhaps, never been a better time to invest in technology that paves the way to better business in 2022 and beyond. If you’re still using legacy software, ask yourself – if the whole industry is already benefiting from this solution, why aren’t you? Are you giving your team the best available tools and your guests and attendees the best available on-property experience? If not, could it be time to implement cloud-based solutions that promise to boost efficiency, reduce operational spending, enhance productivity and save time, maximize revenue, and transform the user experience of both staff and guests?
Over the last year, countless hotels have migrated to STS Cloud, SalesAndCatering.com’s complete, next-generation, cloud-based, securely hosted sales and catering software-as-a-service. With everything from CRM functionality to catering, document workflows, booking management, proposal and e-signature integration, lead management, and reporting tools, hotels have been able to save time, save money, and close more business. Interested in learning more? Click here for more information.