5 Common Mistakes Hotel Owners Make When Implementing Hotel Technology

Modern tech is radically changing how hotel manage their services and how they deliver them to guests. However not all hotel owners get it right the first time, they either implement the wrong tech or something primitive with possible vulnerabilities.

Today, we discuss 7 common mistakes that hotel owners make when implementing hospitality technologies on their properties.

Not Identifying Unique Requirements of Your Property

Every hotel new build or renovation has its own unique technology requirements, and identifying these are critical for hotel owners. Implementing technologies that won’t be used or skipping on ones that will be used too often is never a good idea.

Not every hotel owner has an ideal plan about the technology infrastructure required for their property. It is recommended to make use of a GC or ‘general contractor’ of technology to assist you in this case.

Understanding the unique requirements of the hotel means having critical needs like floor tech plans, high speed internet, PMS, POS tools, self check-in systems, cabling, a cutting edge security system, room automation, and IoT integration needs forecasted.

Not Implementing Future Proof Systems

One of the top mistakes that most hotel owners make is implementing technology that goes obsolete in a year or two years time. Technology evolves faster than the butterfly today, hence requires contingency plans to take effect as soon as upgrades are needed for the infrastructure.

Adopting older or legacy infrastructures will certainly carry higher upgrading costs later. Consider the costs of training employees, implementing the tech, and managing it on an ongoing basis. A future proof system will be readily upgradeable and will require minimal to no training, implementation, and management costs. Not Involving Staff in Technology

Not Involving Staff in Technology

A popular reason for human errors and hence time lost, not involving your staff can not only look bad for the brand but can also lead to diminished guest satisfaction. From PMS, POS, HSIA, to back office management, it is essential to train and acquaint your staff with relevant I.T. systems.

Testing your technology with a few high level executives is never really going to reap rewards, because they will not be the ones using it on a daily basis. Consider introducing a new PMS that will control room bookings, cancellations, billing, booking hotel facilities etc. The ideal way to ensure that the PMS delivers value and efficiency would be through training your staff on the new system.    

Not Employing Technology Partners

This very common mistake is especially found in the case of new builds. Choosing a ‘technology vendor’ and a ‘technology partner’ are two different things. A technology vendor can be your internet, VoIP, security, cabling, or phone supplier. A technology partner is one who will not only oversee the entire project but also collaborate with all other technology vendors.

Technology partners, also known as GC of Technology, are rare gems of the hospitality industry. Tech vendors will leave your property as soon as their work is completed. Your technology partner will then assist you with the pre-opening and launch stages to ensure your I.T. infrastructure is fully operational and is error free.  

Technology partners also ensure the continuous management of your I.T. infrastructure and will routinely analyze it for upgrades. A progressive technology partner will also continually improve their services, develop & implement new technologies, and upgrade existing tech.

Ignoring PCI Compliance & Data Security

Ignoring security compliance for your payment systems and user data is not a very good idea in this age. For instance, here is an excerpt from Business Insider’s December 30, 2018 issue:

“… Marriott hotels, which recently revealed that hackers had accessed the information of an estimated 500 million customers.”

Not only is it essential to have a PCI compliant payment gateways, but hotel owners must ensure that their servers and databases are firewalled and protected with effective hardware & software. The protection of PII or Personally Identifiable Information is now essential across the EU (still not required in the USA), but is something hotel owners should be proactive with. Small things matter, when a customer is assured that your systems are both PCI compliant and that you take data security seriously they are likely to keep that in mind when choosing to travel again.