Just a few years ago, many hoteliers around the world relied on manual methods for their hotel management. Those hoteliers are now feeling the mounting pressure to embrace the digital world. And because the jump from pen and paper to the latest advancements in hotel technology is by no means a timid little leap, they’re looking for the option that’s the most innovative, economical, effective, and user friendly.
An increase in the adoption of cloud-based property management systems would suggest they fit the bill.
Nearly a quarter of all US hoteliers have already taken their properties to the cloud, as illustrated in Grant Thornton’s publication “Emerging clouds in hotel technology.”1 Industry trends suggest that many more will be following suit — and soon — as pressure to modernise systems and streamline the guest experience increases.
It’s not just hoteliers new to the digital revolution who have turned their sights to the cloud. A good many who’ve already made the switch to digital methods of hotel management are now finding it’s time to replace their current technology.
Research from purchasing advice company Software Advice indicates that of all hoteliers currently in the market for new technology to manage their hotels, 96% are investing in cloud-based property management systems.2 It’s a number that speaks to the undeniable shift to cloud-based technology in the hotel industry.
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What is a cloud-based system and what competitive advantage does it offer?
- Utilises the Internet to store information and enhance functionality
- Low investment costs
- Simplifies and streamlines day-to-day activities
- Expandable to include additional tools and features
- Accessible from any computer or mobile device
- Supports a seamless guest experience
- Saves hoteliers time and money
- Helps hoteliers put their focus back on the guest
More efficient and more economical than older technology
The research from Software Advice also found that 62% of hoteliers purchasing cloud-based management systems are doing so because of problems with their current software. The reasons they cited: It’s outdated. It can’t be integrated with other technology, meaning it’s not able to support a seamless guest experience. Ironically, it’s even missing features essential to efficient property management.
Cloud-based systems, by contrast, are modernised, expandable, and easy to integrate with online marketing platforms. There are systems tailored to address hoteliers’ needs, starting with the most basic front-desk applications and extending to advanced add-on options. Some cloud-based systems enable hoteliers to control their distribution channels with a channel manager. Some even facilitate direct bookings with a customizable, brandable booking engine.
Simply put, a cloud-based system addresses hoteliers’ needs and travellers’ behaviors better than older offline, on-premises systems do.
It also comes with lower investment costs. And, by automating processes, it saves hoteliers both time and money. Making a cloud-based system the more cost-effective option as well.
Simpler and more flexible than pen and paper
Because 23% of cloud-based property management buyers are also first-time technology buyers,2 the system they invest in must prove easy to adopt and simple to use. Ideally, it’ll be simpler even than using pen and paper.
Cloud-based technology is that. And it should be, as the best providers focus on the hoteliers using the technology as much as the technology itself. They know what the hotelier needs and what sort of time constraints and technological limitations they’re working with, and provide products that are tailored and flexible enough to fit the individual hotel.
A core benefit of and key selling point for a cloud-based property management system is that it simplifies day-to-day activities (think one-click check-in and check-out) and streamlines processes. So not only is this technology simple to use, it also renders the daily tasks of managing a hotel, as numerous as they are onerous, simpler to execute.
Adapted for a modernised and digital world
Unlike older software systems (and in polar opposition to pen-and-paper methods), a cloud-based property management system is adapted for both hoteliers’ demanding lives and the digital world we now live in. As more travellers start and end their customer journey online, that adaptation is going to be fundamental if a hotel is to stay competitive.
Then there is, of course, the most obvious advantage of a cloud-based system: It’s cloud based. Hoteliers don’t need to be behind their desks to process reservations and invoices, to answer availability inquiries and orchestrate staff activities. They don’t even need to be on the premises.
By taking their properties to the cloud, hoteliers are able to save themselves time and money and put their focus back on their guests, on reaching them with marketing activities and improving their overall experience. Hoteliers also give themselves the freedom to leave the desk, to travel, to attend conferences, to be anywhere other than their place of work. It’s an especially appealing aspect, because hoteliers are people too.
Which explains why so many of them are taking their property management to the cloud. And why it would not be surprising to see that industry-wide shift to cloud-based management systems remain steady and, as more hoteliers recognise that embracing technology is paramount to their future success, start to accelerate.
To find out about the all-in-one cloud-based property management system offered by Base7booking, a company known for developing technology solutions tailored to the independent hotelier, visit their site.
A version of this article was originally published in July 2017.
1 “Emerging clouds in hotel technology,” Grant Thornton, //www.grantthornton.co.uk/globalassets/1.-member-firms/united-kingdom/pdf/publication/2016/emerging-clouds-in-hotel-technology.pdf
2 “Trends in the purchase of hotel technology show a shift to cloud systems,” Tnooz, //www.tnooz.com/article/software-advice-hotel-technology/