Investing in Technology Innovation - How Much is Enough?
In the first viewpoint of this panel, several experts weighed in that the Hospitality Industry does not properly invest in technology innovation. Apple spent about $15 billion in research last year alone… or 5.5% of its annual gross revenue. We ask ourselves these questions: Is this level of investment purely in R&D also necessary in our industry, and is it possible to get that kind of money? What's your take?
Investing in tech is scratching the surface of the issue. Yes, there needs to be a heightened spend on tech and IT, but what's more important is investing in an IT team that is just as innovative as the tech you're implementing. Make a solid investment on an IT team that has a genuine tech-architectural background, then utilize that team to find efficient tech solutions. That team doesn't have to have a hospitality background – bringing in someone with an outside scope provides a keen insight into tech solutions outside of the hotel space that would truly benefit your hotel. As a result, tech solutions will be implemented to truly fit the needs of the individual hotel/hotel chain and your knowledgeable IT team will be well-suited to understand and operate these new solutions.