U.S. hospitality businesses are experiencing a massive technological revolution, at a ridiculous pace. Advanced hospitality technologies like big data, artificial intelligence, touch payments, predictive marketing & analytics, etc. are all causing great disruption in the travel & leisure industries.
There is however a significant gap in the available resources to manage the massive technology transitions in the industry. The more concerning issue is that technological complexity increases with the size of the hotel.
Professional hospitality technology management is growing expertise, globally. These specialists are certified and experienced to develop a culture of technical excellence in hotels. The main focus of technology management is to ensure smart gap analyses and deliver the most ideal technology infrastructure for hospitality companies.
Today we take a look at 7 steps professional technology management companies take to establish a secure & compliant technology infrastructure in your hotel.
4 Steps to Deliver Technical Excellence at Hotels
Hosting every single innovative hospitality technology in the hotel is never a good idea. Effective technology infrastructures require specialist expertise for planning, budgeting, vendor management, security & privacy, network management, upgrades, compliance, onsite & offsite support, and many other functions.
Let’s take a quick look at 4 steps that every technology management provider implements to develop a robust technical infrastructure in hotels.
Technology GAP Assessments
Definitely the place to begin when your hotel has little or no technology applications. A technology gap assessment is “a method of assessing the differences in performance between a business’ information systems or software applications to determine whether business requirements are being met and, if not, what steps should be taken to ensure they are met successfully.”
At AHT, we have an elaborate process where we take a comprehensive tour of your property to assess all relevant areas including back & front office, servers, POS touchpoints, robots, computer software & hardware, perimeter security, staff practices, and more.
All gap assessments are performed under the supervision of our Director of Information Technology, Mohammad Shoaib Ziae, a PCI Professional and CHTP (Certified Hospitality Technology Professional). Ziaee is a celebrated technology professional with over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry.
AHT Inc. delivers all findings of the gap analysis through our exclusive “technology scorecard”. The scorecard identifies the health & security of your existing technology infrastructure, the missing links in your hotel’s technical backbone, and recommendations for new integrations in your hotel.
Planning, Budgeting & Vendor Management
Planning and budgeting for various technology applications can be a complex process with multiple RFPs and supplier quotes to go through. The planning phase itself can take up to six months to ensure hotels procure the best solutions, at the best price, from a compliant vendor.
This brings us to vendor management, the process of building partnerships and collaboration with compliant vendors. While large hotel brands can handle these complex processes because of their massive budgets, medium and small size hotels tend to outsource this step.
AHT Inc. offers hotels an end-to-end solution powered by finance managers, technology managers, engineers, and project managers to ensure your hotel has a professional action plan, an ideal budget, and excellent vendor management services.
At AHT we partner with top hospitality vendors including ORACLE, Micros, Barracuda, FORTINET, Ruckus Wireless, Hewlett Packard, and Cisco. Our longstanding partnerships with a vast network of hospitality tech vendors allow us to deliver better costs, installations, and relationships.
Involve Staff, Build a Culture
The best technology management advice, that any professional will offer is to include your staff and management in the technology integration process. Not only will they feel valued (hence motivated), but they will also be more receptive to new I.T. & technology systems. The staff who will be interacting with technology will be able to provide more insights into what solutions can work best.
Building a culture requires staff is acquainted with technology systems. They are trained about how the tech works, how to maintain it, what practices to follow, and who to call in case of support.
At AHT Inc., we have a defined program that encourages staff & management to offer their opinions and reservations about hotel technology systems. We take these insights into consideration when developing the overall technology action plan to ensure all concerns are addressed.
In addition, we also encourage suppliers & vendors to take time to train hotel staff, where possible. Most vendors will not offer any assistance, support, or training once they have delivered their product/service.
AHT Inc. will at this step persevere to deliver the latest knowledge and best practices to operate technology systems. Our expert team will work together with your staff to convincingly answer all their queries, and, provide assistance from vendors where necessary.
Focused Security & Privacy Training
Data privacy and cybersecurity are the most popular debate in the hospitality industry during the past decade. Popular conferences including the renowned HITEC event are being dominated by arguments & debates over the state of security of hospitality technologies.
In a 2019 news release, IBM identified that staff negligence is the most common factor when analyzing historical data breaches in U.S. organizations. Routine training and education for staff is now an essential step to achieving a secure technology environment in hotels.
At AHT Inc. we ensure your staff and management are prepared and trained to handle data privacy and cybersecurity once technology systems go online. Delivered under the supervision of a PCI Professional and Certified Technology Manager, our training offers a complete solution to enact compliance standards in hotels.
A hotel security training program is also not a one-time thing. An effective security training program is only effective when it is routinely revisited for improvements. The primary aim of our staff PCI compliance & security training services is to establish 4 aspects:
- Secure Networks
- Technology Policies & Strategies
- Staff Responsibilities
- Best Practices to Process Payments & Handle Guest Data
I hope our brief preview of 4 important steps of technology management providers offers an idea about the importance of managing hospitality technology systems. Get in touch with our team to know more about our exclusive technology management services.
Until next time, see you again soon.