From the moment a potential guest books a room at your hotel on an online travel agent’s website, to when they press a button to notify staff of their housekeeping needs, to the instance they leave feedback on their stay, every step of the modern guest experience now involves technology.
In 2018, Hospitality Technology’s Customer Engagement Technology Study found that 65 percent of guests are willing to pay more for a hotel that provides technology they deem essential.
However, as you focus your assets and attention on providing the best experience for your guests, it’s ironically easy to fall behind with the rapid evolution of technology solutions and the unexpected challenges that may come with installing new ones.
Luckily, there’s an easy solution - outsourcing your hotel IT support. In this article, we share 5 reasons why you need to turn to an external support provider for your IT needs.
1. Reduction of operational costs
Maintaining a professional in-house IT team means high internal expenditure - on top of basic employee benefits, budget must be allocated for training your staff in order to make sure they are kept up-to-date with the latest developments in technology.
But with an outsourced team, your operational costs go down drastically. Specialised IT support providers are experts who stay on top of industry developments and will not require you to fund additional training.
2. Experience and expertise
The expertise that outsourced IT support can bring your team should not be underestimated. You will have a go-to team of professionals should you encounter any problems in the day-to-day operations of your systems, and problems can be swiftly solved with minimal disruption to hotel operations.
An additional perk to this would be round-the-clock accessibility - since hotels operate 24/7, external support teams are likewise ready to jump to your assistance at any hour of the day.
Aside from being skilled and experienced in handling all sorts of day-to-day issues across your full suite of technology - from the all-encompassing property management software to the finer housekeeping modules - professional IT support providers are also familiar with tech troubles that other hotels have encountered. This knowledge allows them to design preventive measures that will nip any potential problems in the bud.
Furthermore, their expertise will ensure your hotel’s technology systems comply with industry standards and regulations, such as those surrounding data, privacy and security.
3. Up-to-date and enhanced IT security
Security does not come just from ensuring your system meets industry standards. It is just as important to make sure that your current software and hardware are updated, which your outsourced IT support team can help ensure with their expertise.
Having the most up-to-date system and software, especially in areas like antivirus, is especially important in ensuring the security of your IT systems. Hotels handle a lot of sensitive information - both of your guests and of your business operations - that can be easily exploited if it falls into the wrong hands.
A dedicated outsourced IT support team act as your eyes and ears for potential weaknesses and security breaches. They are equipped with the skills to reinforce your system, so you can rest easy knowing hackers cannot compromise your hotel’s data and information.
4. Level the playing field for independent hotels
In an industry that values technology as much as the hotel business does, having a strong IT foundation in place is crucial, as are any high-tech upgrades your hotel might opt for, such as smart tech upgrades.
In 2018, a survey from independent marketing communications agency Mower found that 44% of guests interviewed would prefer to stay in a smart hotel, and 69% would opt to stay in a room equipped with smart tech features.
As Internet of Things content aggregator IoT World Today notes, smart tech is the way to go for hotels, with the breadth of technology options affecting guest expectations.
What does this mean for hotels? Hoteliers might start looking for smarter tech to attract guests - but for hotels with small in-house teams, IT staff might not be aware of all the options available, nor might they be equipped to handle support and maintenance of such new infrastructure.
However, IT support providers are on the ball with the latest trends in the industry. With their wealth of knowledge and information about the plethora of options available in the market, they are able to recommend the software and hardware upgrades that will most benefit your business needs.
On top of providing recommendations, they will help you implement and maintain the necessary IT infrastructure, giving you top-tier technology support that will place you on level ground with bigger competitors.
5. Focus on core business
With outsourced IT support, you can entrust technology operations and maintenance to a team of experts. This allows you and your staff to focus your energy and time on enhancing the guest experience, without being bogged down by the tricky turns of the technological landscape.
Furthermore, improved technology systems for your hotel will benefit all parties. When your guest doesn’t run into technological troubles during their stay, they will have a pleasant stay and overall guest experience. At the same time, your staff will no longer have to worry about the booking system suddenly freezing while checking in a large group of guests, in turn improving their overall working environment and efficiency.
Ultima Asia Technology’s consultants are skilled and equipped to support you and your changing IT needs as your business grows. Contact us for a quote today.