Does IT provide a strategic advantage?
— 13 C-Suite executives shared their view
Almost every touchpoint with our guests now involves technology in some way. As the CEO, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that technology is given the priority, resources, and budget required. Very often though, the CIO reports to other C-level executives and does not have the same level of influence in the company.
Do you consider the IT department to be as important as operations, finance, and marketing? And how involved are you personally in the company's overall technology architecture and strategy?
Viewpoint authored by Lyle Worthington, HFTP Past President
CEO of Kerten Hospitality
“Technological advancement is at the heart of the personalized journey guests and travelers demand today and is at the core of all hospitality verticals who live by Big Data. For Kerten Hospitality, adopting the next generation technology is the secret to our disruptive vision and goes beyond Big Data to bring the “soft touch” and human element back into the hospitality space by focusing on the use of data and not on the data collection.
It's not just about hospitality tech but rather the consumer tech we need to be looking at. The technological zeitgeist allows us to take the best learnings and innovations from other sectors – such as online wallets payments, voice-enabled offerings and utilizing robots to do what they do best. Applying these in a hospitality setting with a human touch enables us to craft authentic experiences that sit equally well with Generation Z-ers, digital nomads, “promadic travelers” and bleisure tourists.
Our technological projects are not about collecting data for data's sake. Likewise, introducing the latest tech onto your property, co-working space or mix-use project does not necessarily mean that you are abreast of innovation. What matters is using technology to deliver authentic experiences and create a community of like-minded travelers. No robot, Big Data or Augmented Reality features will deliver this – it is about how people utilize the tools we have to create the unique and personalized journeys that resonate with communities and interest-specific target groups. This is the way ahead for technology in hospitality! “