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Top IT Priorities Entering ’18 for Hotel and Lodging

Ryan T. Hall Published 15 Mar 2018

For the Hospitality, Hotel, and Lodging industry, IT and technology decisions have an enormous impact on a cross-section of critical business functions and their goals.  While there are certainly similar overarching objectives we recognize year over year, what continues to evolve is how priorities have changed and what new goals have emerged. 

As such, each year industry thought-leader Hospitality Technology publishes an updated Lodging Technology Study.  Based off the survey results from a large, diverse group of Hospitality managers and directors the Lodging Study offers a wealth of valuable insights from the industry, that include:

  • Percentage of budget reserved for IT and technology initiatives
  • Breakdown and allocation of IT and technology spend
  • Top business challenges related to IT and technology
  • Key objectives IT and technology is driving and enabling  

With this in mind, we organized some of the most compelling categories and results from the study and outlined them in the infographic below.  Let’s take a look!

Important Takeaways to Highlight

IT Budgets: they continue to increase, but it isn’t enough

In Section 1, we see that 50% of respondents have a ‘midrange’ or ‘heavy’ tech budget at their disposal, with 50% of those surveyed citing a ‘modest’ tech budget. Despite 50% of respondents having access to a strong budget, over 60% will increase their IT budgets in ’18, 35% of budgets will stay the same, and only 4% will decrease their IT budgets (as shown in Section 4).  However, for most businesses it doesn’t seem to be enough: in Section 5 we see that 40% of respondents state a ‘lack of sufficient IT budget’ as the top challenge facing their department and 33% state the ‘burden of maintaining existing infrastructure’ is a top challenge, which also insinuates insufficient funding for IT/tech initiatives. 

Budget Allocation: hardware, software, new-roll outs and upgrades   

Simply based off of Section 7 in the infographic we’re able to gain pertinent insights around how IT/tech budgets are broken down.  With so many business functions reliant on network infrastructure, and with connectivity integral to a quality guest experience, ‘hardware’ and ‘network/telecomm connectivity’ understandably combine for nearly 50% of a budgets. ‘Software’ consumes the most budget at 35%, which may seem surprising at first, but considering many of the top priorities and trends in the industry require software investments – including the shift to cloud/SaaS computing, mobile check-in for guests, integrated property management systems, and personalized service offerings to name a few – then the 35% number may actually seem low.  In section 6 we see how budget is allocated for ‘new roll-outs’ versus ‘upgrades.’                    

Guest-Facing Technologies: personalization, convenience, and engagement top priorities     

For guest-facing technology investments and goals, it’s clear respondents want to offer more convenience and personalization to guests while also encouraging digital engagement.  The philosophy is these investments and a personalized approach will increase guest satisfaction and establish a more meaningful connection with customers.  In Section 3 ‘Improving Digital Customer Engagement and Loyalty’ is the top initiative, where ‘Mobile and Personalized Marketing’ is the top area of investment for ‘Empowering Digital Guests’ (Section 8).

Access Analytics: fuel the guest experience and improve operations        

Ability to access actionable, relevant analytics that empowers a businesses’ decision-making has been an industry trend for some time now, but it certainly isn’t going away anytime soon.  If anything, with  personalization emerging as a top priority and with guests anticipated a customized experience, it’s becoming more critical for Hospitality properties and brands to fine-tune their data analytics strategy.  Respondents echo these sentiments, with 31% citing ‘Improve Business and Customer Analytics’ (section 3) as a Top Tactical Tech Objective and 58% citing ‘Guest Insights’ as a key source of mining meaningful data.  There’s a cross-section of ways and sources to harvest data, but the key is turning this information into meaningful intelligence for the business.  

For more information and to learn how to provide a quality guest experience for your customers, visit our Hospitality, Hotel, and Lodging solution page.  

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