Cloud Computing has kicked down the door on restricted availability. By hosting software on specialized servers and providing services on a subscription based model, hoteliers are able to utilize tools that were once exclusive to the larger players.
But all this began a few years into the 21st century and as we look back into the past year, it’s easy to see the impact that the cloud has made on companies that have migrated. Lower upfront costs, a pay-as-you-go model, real-time integration and a number of other cutting-edge advancements have allowed independent hotels to prosper. This is important, because independent hotels constitute the overwhelming majority of global hospitality businesses.
As hoteliers around the world prepare their properties for a busy 2016, cloud based technology is gradually imbedding itself deeper within hospitality and the possibilities get more exciting every year. Let’s take a look at some of the new developments being enabled by cloud computing in 2016 –
1. Mobile Technology:
Cloud computing has greatly impacted the mobile platform, providing developers with an environment in which data can be stored, managed and processed outside the mobile device. In fact, the growth of cloud technology fueled rapid progress in mobile technology – new milestones in global usage are still being recorded every few months. In Q1 of 2015 alone, 27% of bookings made in the United States were done using mobile devices while according to TripAdvisor’s traveler trends, 42% of travelers used mobile devices to plan or make a booking for their next trip. Mobile apps simplify the process for customers and empower them by providing them with the option to customize and streamline a large part of their trip – guests can select rooms, arrange for transport and even walk straight into their room on arrival with a ‘digital key’, allowing them to skip the front desk altogether. In fact, the growth in mobile technology is expected to even diminish the authority of traditional computing devices such as laptops. Cloud integration allows hoteliers to quickly implement these new technologies within their business as a large part of these software are being developed on the cloud. As guests are beginning to demand more personalization from hotels, smartphone compatibility & optimization is becoming an important aspect for hotels to implement as soon as possible.
2. Software as a Service:
Cloud based Software as a Service (SaaS) companies have been around for about a decade now and their services have been gaining recognition every year, but hotels have been slow to warm up to the idea. 2015 saw a large number of independent hotels show interest in and subscribe for SaaS plans but 2016 is expected to be the year where the majority of these properties finally take the leap. By hosting their software on the cloud, SaaS companies are able to provide their services at a cost that’s affordable for small and mid-sized hotels. The properties also enjoy access to cutting-edge digital tools, with regular updates and unrestricted access. A number of services and tools are now offered on the cloud such as property management, revenue management, accounting software and so on
3. Internet of Things:
Possibly the most exciting bit of technology to expect in 2016, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been generating quite a bit of interest from large and small players alike. IoT creates a framework within which a wide variety of devices – ranging from cars to doorknobs – can be assigned IP addresses and communicate with one another to complete tasks more efficiently, creating a neural network of connections similar in structure to the internet itself. The possibilities that arise from this kind of integration are limitless, but so is the demand for storage. This is where the cloud will play a massive role in helping store and manage the data generated from the billions of communicating devices – yes, that’s a ‘b’.
Data management and space were once major issues that haunted companies belonging to any industry. Even something as simple as hosting a website meant that the organization had to invest in servers and bring an IT team on-board.
Being an industry that thrives on building customer intimacy, hospitality companies are always on the look-out for new ways to reach potential customers. Cloud computing has carried hospitality to a whole new level by giving independent hoteliers the ticket to jump on board this technology train, one that’s been building momentum with every new milestone.
Get Your Independent Hotel on the Cloud to Beat Competition in 2016