IT Support for Hotels
The hospitality industry is slowly returning to form after the lockdowns of 2020. Among the hospitality businesses reopening across the province are hotels and resorts. While all reopening business are in dire need of better IT support in these trying times, the vacation accommodations industry may very well need it more than most. Here’s why.
4 Reasons Why Hotels and Resorts Must Secure Better IT Support Services in 2020 and Beyond
Offer Better (via Digital) Guest Experiences
It will be a challenge to lure guests back after far too many months of lockdown. Relying on old (meaning 2019) business models won’t work because the demand is not there like it was once, at least for the interim. To attract prospective guests who may still be on the fence about booking, you need to provide a smoother experience from the moment they interact with your business. That means better booking functionality along with provision of digital tools that will make checking in and staying at the physical property be more seamless, while minimizing the need to interact with on-site staff – an unfortunate requirement at the moment. All of this can be accomplished through sweeping digital transformation, but that will require more robust IT infrastructure.
If your operations and marketing team can envision it, it can be done, but only with better IT support.
You Host a LOT of Sensitive Public Data
Your hotel doesn’t just host guests from around the country and world, it hosts all of the personal and financial records that they pack along with them. You have their credit card information, travel club membership data, contact records, and may even scan and digitally record passports and other forms of ID. They trust that you will keep it all secure and away from the prying fingertips of cybercriminals that lurk along the digital passageways that connect you to them. Your IT infrastructure must be secured from the ground-up, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify new vulnerabilities to keep ahead of advanced threats.
On top of your corporate responsibility to protect the data of guests, both national and international governing bodies demand it. As a hotel, you fall under the “jurisdiction” of more than Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Given that you host guests from across the continent and overseas you also must abide by GDPR, state-by-state (USA) legislation, and other international data privacy laws. The financial penalties and potential civil liability suits to follow could be enough to shut your hotel down for good. Outside IT support will audit your systems to identify vulnerabilities and provide solutions.
Reliance on (and risk of) On-Site and In-Suite IoT
Cybercriminals aren’t just looking to nab sensitive information from guests, they can also get your hotel chain in hot water by hacking into internet-of-things (IoT) systems found throughout your respective properties. Modern hotels leverage IoT for lighting and plumbing systems, HVAC, appliances, and more. While this may offer greater efficiency along with guest convenience it opens your business up to yet another cyberthreat. Hackers can invade the privacy of guests, or simply hold electrical systems hostage until you pay a handsome ransom. Again, the more you digitally transform the more you become susceptible. In the same manner that digital transformation cannot be avoided (it’s a must), outside IT services to support and protect operations is also a prerequisite.
Better Connect Project Teams for Greater Productivity
As a hotel business, you not only have on-site staff, you have a number of executives, vendors, and partners who are located throughout the province, country, and world. Coordinating with them on operational and marketing projects can be a challenge given the time differences and the fact that more human resources are working remotely. However, your need for better coordination on team projects is more important than ever as you look to fight your way back from the downturn of 2020. For this reason you need to move all productivity and project management tools to the cloud – the most important of all reopening strategies. Using cloud based business tools that focus on on-site and off-site team collaboration, such as MS Office 365 for Business (among others) your hotel business will witness never before seen improvements in team project initiatives.
However, integration of these new cloud based productivity tools must be managed via the careful hand of outside IT support. You need an expert who can identify your unique needs, and provide managed (fully, co-managed, or customized) services to ensure you’re on the right track.
Contact SAV Technology today to discuss everything above, and any other IT needs you may have.