The tremendous breakthroughs in technology in recent decades have vastly increased the potential for revenue and even created new hospitality businesses from thin air.
But they’ve also caused a few problems.
Like the adage “mo’ money, mo’ problems,” having new concerns to manage does complicate operations.
From security and device functionality to encryption and server downtime, companies now have to stay on guard 24/7 in order to combat any potential issues.
The age of big data is great, but there is much to consider.
The following issues must now be top of mind in the world of hospitality.
If you don’t think data security is a big problem for the hospitality world, just ask Marriott.
Hotels under its banner have been hit by credit card fraud on multiple occasions, and the industry giant is far from alone in this regard.
Sheraton, Holiday Inn and Starwood Hotels and Resorts have all suffered similar fates in recent years.
Hilton had to shell out for a year of free credit monitoring for many of its guests, among other costs, after it suffered a breach last year.
Considering that hotels receive and store vital personal details about their customers — credit card numbers, full names, addresses, passport numbers — it is their moral duty and legal responsibility to secure this info.
This means they must invest in stronger systems with fewer gaps while also embracing encryption and other internationally accepted means to ensure that criminals cannot get customer data.
Though most are doing this, it is hard to stay ahead of the hackers. It is critical to invest in top-notch data security professionals who can put up the best defense.
After security, ensuring you never lose your database might be the chief concern.
Hotels, in particular, need to invest in server backup. You never know when a tech malfunction, natural disaster or burst pipe could ruin all your hardware.
Especially considering how many hotels and resorts are located near the waterfront, there is simply a ton of risk for servers stored on the premises.
For this reason, many in the sector are pushing their data to the cloud.
In the early days, there were many privacy and security issues related to letting your data reside somewhere outside of your immediate control.
But these days, the top firms handling data backup are reputable with years-long track records of being reliable and safe.
And given the remaining problems of on-site storage, the dangers of not relying on the cloud now outweigh the alternative.
It isn’t all bad news. Yes, security is difficult and the hacker threat is a frightening problem that must be addressed.
But there is a lot more to the data revolution than downside.
Along with protecting information about customers, companies can put this to work.
Marketing efforts can be more targeted than ever, and firms can cater to their top, repeat customers better than ever before.
In the past, consumer patterns and habits were determined largely by guesswork, surveys, and industry assumptions.
Now, however, companies are building a larger and more robust database of trends and tendencies by the day.
As long as you manage things properly, these opportunities will far outweigh the potential risks.
If you collect, store, mine, and utilize your data in the right way, the company stands to benefit in ways never before possible.