Should hoteliers develop in-house or outsource IT applications and solutions?
— 19 experts shared their view
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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?
Co-Founder at TRAVHOTECH
It's a broad question. Today's technology has a much wider scope in application to our industry. I believe it depends on the scope of the project. For example, if the proposal was to develop from the ground up a property management system (or any core business application) then I fall on the side of core competencies. Most organizations would struggle to harness the global experience, input and resource to bring a functional product to play. The other aspect that is a major factor is time. It takes a considerable amount of time to build a robust set of functionality even in the most ideal circumstances.
Market leaders have invested decades in key operational verticals to deliver a depth of functionality. Time can be shortened but not drastically as only so much can be squeezed down the development pipe. The most popular business applications became so due to robust functionality and scale, benefiting from the input of a multitude of business environments and circumstances. And time.
If the proposal was to develop enterprise reporting capability and information for organizational analysis, then it may be better to do so in house, on the back of a core platform that supports heavy lifting such functionality. In this way, the specific focus, business objectives, measurements and approach to brand and operation can be factored into the information, sets and the manner in which they are analyzed, peculiar to the organization.
Each are significantly different in scale and undertaking. In my view, the latter being more specific or customized to the needs of the organization. Also more practical and achievable.