Should hoteliers develop in-house or outsource IT applications and solutions?
— 19 experts shared their view
Some hoteliers (brands & management companies) believe that developing tech solutions in-house is cheaper and provides better customization to the hotelier's concrete needs and control over the ongoing maintenance and performance. Another school of industry-thought believes that hoteliers should focus on their core competencies: providing the best customer experience and best returns possible to ownership and outsource technology applications, products and solutions to specialized vendors.
So the question is, in this era of rapid technological advancements and adoption of next-gen technologies such as AI, IoT, automation, robotics, blockchain, etc., should hoteliers keep technology developments in-house or outsource to specialized, well-funded vendors?
Vice President IT at Belmond
A large chain may have more resources better suited to development in house. This requires a high level of funding, process maturity, infrastructure and deep skill sets. In return for the customisation and control they get over the environment, they also take on the responsibility to make sure they are incorporating all of the legal, statutory, and regulatory requirements, no small task these days! Smaller chains won't have these same resources and will definitely not want to take on the risk and liability to make sure privacy by design, PCI, and GDPR are built in. Even if they had a small development team, there is a higher risk having that in house knowledge in the hands of just a few people. What happens if someone takes a job with a new company, gets a long term illness, etc? Better for the small hotel companies to outsource to professional companies with a proven reputation, and specific skill sets focused on this rapidly evolving next gen space.