Fifty-six percent of hospitality firms have plans to raise mobile investments to better equip their workforces, improve operational efficiencies and ultimately enhance the customer experience, said a recent survey.
The Motorola Solutions 2011 Hospitality Market Barometer revealed that 91 per cent of hospitality decision makers realise the increasing importance of mobile and wireless technology, while 78 per cent recognise the role mobility plays in ensuring a competitive advantage for their business.
As a result, hospitality venues are investing in new technology, as well as powerful wireless networks to handle greater data volumes and increasing demands for high-speed access from the customer and mobile workforce, the survey said.
One of the critical challenges for hotel technology managers is convincing upper management to approve investing in the latest technology.
Radi Karnib, Director of IT Projects at Rotana Hotel Management, said: “It is a challenge to demonstrate that the proposed technology infrastructure will indirectly reflect into a benefit to our business and will keep us up to date with the technology trends and market competition.”
In order to overcome this challenge, Radi said he has proven methods for successfully presenting the business case for new technology procurement to senior management including: Presentation of the added value functions and services for any new technology product procurement…
Demonstrating a proper case study using the senior management terms… Financial analysis, showing a complete financial study listing the cost versus functions for the IT project.”
Daniel Hajjar, CEO of Layia Hospitality, added: “It is (the IT) a department that evolves on a daily basis and you owe it to your organisation to consider any ‘new’ development… IT experts must always make a clear differentiation between an investment and an expense.”
Both agreed that iPad and mobile applications would be the technology priorities moving into 2012.
“Smart phones will definitely be the top priority in my opinion,” Hajjar said.