The hospitality industry has undergone significant transformation in recent times. True, it continues to face many challenges because of the increasing influence of social media and rapidly changing customer expectations and behaviour. However, technology continues to help the industry manage most of these challenges. A report on the global hotel and hospitality management software market forecasts growth by $1176.2 million between 2023 and 2027. Interestingly, the increased use of cloud solutions has been identified as a prime driver of this growth.
Although the hospitality industry is not known to be quick in adopting new technologies, many hoteliers have already started seeing positive results after moving their digital infrastructure to the cloud. Cloud computing enables hotels and restaurants to be more agile, flexible and connected. Cloud-based hotel software can change the hospitality industry by providing updated data in real time.
Working together with other cloud-based next-generation technologies, cloud technology is helping hoteliers gain a deeper understanding of their operations and their customers, across locations. To meet customer expectations, hoteliers are looking for integrated technology options.
Hospitality needs to move to the cloud: 4 reasons why
Here is a look at some of the ways that cloud-based technology is changing the way hoteliers run their businesses.
1. Scale up and down as per seasonal requirements
Most cloud providers operate on a pay-as-you-use model. This allows hotels to increase computing resources during peak holiday seasons and scale back during not-so-busy periods. This reduces the cost of maintaining IT infrastructure, on premise, throughout the year.
2. Connect and access systems from anywhere, at any time
Cloud services allow employees to access relevant information and essential data through any compatible device from anywhere and at any time. Hotel employees can use a cloud-based system to access various hotel back-office systems while walking the hotel grounds with a tablet, or while sitting miles away with a smartphone. Employees can attend meetings and discussions from anywhere.
A cloud-based hotel management system can easily connect to other software applications, even if these applications do not share the same provider. This allows hoteliers to add new features to their existing systems at lower costs and without disruptions.
3. Transform guest experience
Today’s travelers expect more from a hotel than just a stay, they expect an integrated and highly personalised experience. The more convenient the hotel systems, the more satisfied the guests will be. By connecting multiple application systems, the cloud can offer a whole lot more to the customer in a systematic way. Both speed of service and customer happiness are sure to increase.
4. Slash IT costs
On-site hotel management software incurs considerable maintenance and running costs. However, the flexible pricing models offered by cloud providers help to slash IT costs substantially. Running the business on cloud means zero hardware costs, making it possible for even small-sized hotels to run an advanced management system. Furthermore, operational and maintenance costs are reduced and updates or bug fixes are managed by the cloud service provider.
Where cloud-based apps can be used in the hospitality industry
- Customer management
- Reservation management
- Point of sale
- Appointment booking
- Event management
- Marketing tools
Cloud-powered property management system (PMS)
Use, Build and Migrate is the model on which cloud computing operates in the hotel industry. It is a mixture of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS (Infrastructure-, Platform- and Software-as-a-service).
One of the most significant cloud technology platforms being adopted by the industry is the Property Management System (PMS) − a software that enables the automation of all front desk activities and acts as the ‘back bone’ of the hotel. It interfaces with a variety of other key systems from channel management and bookings to hardware such as telephony and room keys.
The market for PMS is more developed in countries with mature economies such as those of Western Europe and the US. It is estimated that the current usage of PMS across hotels is as high as 80-85 percent in the US and UK. The overall adoption of PMS is somewhat lower in the more fragmented hotel markets of Italy and Germany, which have a high number of small independent hotels.
The positive underlying market drivers for cloud-based PMS include:
- Global hotel software spend is forecast to grow at 7-8 % over the next three years
- Hotels are being run by a younger generation of owners/managers who are driving new technology adoptions
- The benefits of PMS include easier updates, more flexible remote access and a simpler pricing model
- A new generation of innovative technology players are emerging with mobile optimised solutions
A call to cloud
Moving a business to the cloud may be a daunting task but the positive effects of the move will resonate not only through the operational departments, but also across the entire hotel chain. Partner with the right cloud solution provider to fulfil your company’s most important objectives. The hospitality industry cannot afford to ignore all the benefits offered by cloud solutions.