|Hotels need better technology, marketing and operations practices says Amadeus.|
If hotels are to secure growth in the next three years they must align strategic business and IT priorities, says a new report by Amadeus, titled "Transform Your Growth Strategy Now." The report, which was put together in conjunction with leading industry expert Robert Cole, identifies gaps that exist between hotel technology, marketing and operations that are currently blunting growth strategies and ambitions.
The report introduces the concept of the IT Pathfinder as a means of bridging the gap between corporate business and technology objectives. An IT Pathfinder can be defined as a role, function or approach that uses a common language to unite IT and business needs, focusing on mutual areas of benefit which deliver the greatest economic value.
The report was commissioned by Amadeus and developed by RockCheetah, the leading travel industry marketing strategy and technology consulting practice. Based on extensive research and qualitative interviews with leading industry figures, the report provides insights into how hotels groups can fast-forward growth between 2011 and 2014 and better understand the current barriers to organizational performance. The risks and opportunities facing the hospitality industry in the next three years are also examined.
“Working as a partner with hoteliers across the industry, Amadeus has a unique perspective on the gaps and obstacles that exist across critical areas of their business. So with this report we wanted to take a ‘deeper dive’ and illuminate what hoteliers can do to close these gaps in the near term,” said Vic Pynn, Executive Vice President, Amadeus Americas.
“By utilizing open, flexible technology solutions, hotels can take action and conquer the areas presenting the greatest challenges today. It is Amadeus’ highest priority to deliver the IT solutions to help hoteliers not only achieve their key near-term objectives, but also the longer-term business transformation that will enable them to successfully serve guests of the future,” Pynn said.
Robert Cole, author of the report, said: “Following the challenging market conditions of the last three years, now is the time to focus on growth. For most hotel groups the priority is how to deliver this growth by expanding into new territories, attracting new customers and improving service offerings. Underpinning these strategies with the right technology infrastructure and systems requires a new approach which can be embodied by the concept of the IT Pathfinder. Hopefully this report will stimulate discussion and offer a roadmap for those tasked with realizing business transformation.”
The report highlighted three key areas:
· Bringing together business needs and IT: The report suggests only by fully aligning business and IT priorities can hotel groups implement corporate strategy effectively. This involves greater definition of strategic business priorities and strategic IT priorities using a common language and vocabulary. By viewing IT through the lens of the guest experience, real innovations can be found.
· Introducing the IT Pathfinder: Introducing the concept of the IT Pathfinder, the report explores the options for greater streamlining of a hotel’s approach to technology. The IT Pathfinder can be viewed either as a role, function or approach, but its purpose is three-fold: to understand how the operating environment impacts key business drivers; to link IT initiatives to corporate strategy; and to roadmap ways to create economic value from IT initiatives.
· Delivering business transformation The report recognizes every hotel group is different, with different product portfolios, competitive positioning and shareholder objectives. However, the report identifies the common characteristics to optimizing technology investment which include eliminating dangers and risks, capitalizing on opportunities and leveraging organizational strengths.
Amadeus noted that the new report follows the Hotels 2020: Beyond Segmentation report published by Amadeus in 2010. Hotels 2020 focused on the drivers of change for the global hotel sector, examining issues such as business models, customer targeting and brand portfolio management. "Transform Your Growth Strategy Now" progresses the findings of the Hotels 2020 report, looking at the shorter-term growth prospects for the hotel sector, Amadeus said.