The hospitality industry touches the day-to-day lives of over a billion people every year. As a $3.48 trillion industry in the U.S. alone, it’s heavily driven by travel and tourism. It also includes everything from food delivery services to event planning. That makes it a wide-spanning sector that supports a large workforce while also improving the quality of life for the people they serve.
With the impact of COVID-19 lingering, hospitality businesses have continued to underperform. Many have yet to reach their 2019 numbers. However, technology has played an essential role in rebounding and helped mitigate some damage. Knowing how to integrate technology best can be tricky, though. Every business has different goals and services they provide. That’s led companies to seek out IT consulting services for guidance.
The Digitization of The Hospitality Industry
Hospitality has seen a shift towards digitization over the last decade. What was once focused on face-to-face interactions has expanded in other ways to further better the consumer. With new technology being a priority for 49% of travel and hospitality businesses, that trend is expected to continue. Food delivery is popular as it brings local restaurants to people’s doors. Customers can view menus, create orders, schedule drop-off times, and pay online without ever interacting with a live person.
Hotels, resorts, and other types of lodging have also benefited from digitization. Predictive maintenance can anticipate problems before they happen. Wi-Fi networks can dynamically handle high-traffic bursts while conserving resources during slower times. Location-based technology can also answer common tourist questions. That includes how to find nearby parks, notable landmarks, or specific types of places to eat at. Much of that is done automatically and does not require a service desk agent to help.
One of the keys to making digitization possible has been the advent of smartphones. In 2022 alone, 1.57 billion smartphones are projected to be shipped. Being such a massive market and a device most customers own, hospitality has evolved to cater to those users. That’s created a prioritization of services built through mobile apps and websites. Even smaller businesses can partner with IT companies to develop solutions to meet their needs.
How IT Consulting Can Help
While the digitization of a business can be beneficial, knowing where to start can be challenging. That’s especially true for those who already have a basic IT infrastructure but are unsure about the next step. It can be costly and time-intensive to experiment. Many small businesses don’t have the need or budget for full-time IT staff either.
That’s where hospitality IT consulting can assist. Clients can share information, ask questions, and get advice for all their IT needs. More in-depth assessments are also available. A specialist can analyze tech capabilities and find gaps in IT services. That factors in both staff and customer needs. From there, they’ll review the findings with the client and develop a strategy catered to their situation.
Businesses can boost productivity and use their budget more efficiently by using an IT consultant. Even though it has upfront costs, it pays for itself through more effective solutions and higher quality support. If your business needs a hospitality IT consultation and is ready to embrace digitization, ITonDemand can partner with you every step of the way.