03 Jun
2016

5 Factors Motivating Hotels’ Migration to the Cloud

The hospitality industry is migrating to the cloud. In 2015, 21.6 percent of hotel and hospitality providers said that moving their on-premises technology to the cloud was a top priority, according to Hospitality Technology’s 2015 Lodging Technology Study. In 2016, Wi-Fi360 reported that this number climbed to 31 percent, illustrating the increasing urgency of cloud migration.

Property management system upgrades, IT scaling, inventory management, room service and security are a few reasons cloud-based solutions are growing more popular among hotel providers. Here’s a closer look at these five factors motivating hotels’ migration to the cloud.

 

Cloud-Based Property Management Systems

One of the main reasons hotels are moving to the cloud is because property management system (PMS) software is increasingly cloud-based. For instance, Choice Hotel International uses a cloud-based PMS system called choiceADVANTAGE, which offers rate and inventory synchronization, marketing programs and automatic processing.

Cloud PMS platforms enable centralized management of relations between different departments and applications, so owners don’t have to deal with managing multiple tools, and it provides better guest experiences because managers can automate tasks and get back to guests more quickly. Finally, cloud-based PMS management is more cost-efficient because it lowers direct IT costs and reduces costs stemming from setup, training and errors.

 

IT Scaling

Another motive for moving to the cloud is the ability to scale up IT operations. For instance, group travel provider Groople uses the cloud to help clients book travel arrangements with hotels, cruise ships, airlines and other travel services. Groople handles groups that are too large to book through sites like Expedia or Travelocity without using a travel agent.

To compete with these large companies, Groople needs a technological infrastructure that is big enough to support a client-facing interface that is integrated with hotel inventory management systems. This would cost billions of dollars to build and manage in-house, but by partnering with cloud hosting and security providers, Groople can manage it with just three full-time IT workers who support a staff of 50. As this illustrates, the cloud enables small hospitality providers to tap into IT resources that are comparable to those used by large companies and even the playing field.

 

Inventory Management

Another function hotels are increasingly handling from the cloud is inventory management. Cloud-based hotel inventory management systems such as Little Hotelier offer hotel managers a number of benefits. One of the most appealing advantages is the ability to manage inventory from anywhere using mobile devices. Another benefit is automatic, real-time updates for room bookings across all databases and websites. Because hotel owners and their staff don’t need to manually update their systems, there are fewer lost bookings and increased revenue.

 

Mobile Room Service

One of today’s most comprehensive cloud-based mobile room service apps used by hotels is AliceApp, which was featured at the 2016 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference. AliceApp enables hoteliers to manage requests through an integrated calendar, receive reminders and create digital and printable itineraries for guests, while helping staff track ticket management. Such apps use mobile communication to boost hotel team efficiency and create a better guest experience.

 

Security

Hotel security benefits from the cloud. Hotels handle sensitive customer and property data that presents an inviting target for cyberthieves. To protect this data, cloud-based PMS services such as innRoad provide professional data security, including permission-based access, encryption, secure credit card processing and backup storage. This shifts the burden of handling security away from hotel IT staff and onto providers who are professionals at data protection.

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