Disruptive technology refers to the newer ways of achieving things that might overturn or disrupt traditional business practice or model (Fan & Suh, 2014). The introductions of steam engine when conveyance was mainly through sail and internet in the era of post office are prominent examples of disruptive technology. These technologies often forced companies in altering their business approach. Disruptive technology might also damage the overall economics of the market since its lacks refinement and comes with performance problems without a proven practical method of application. The term disruptive technology was coined in the year 1995 by Clayton M. Christensen in one of his articles named “Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave”. Later the term was rechristened as disruptive innovation when there was an observation that only fewer technologies were sustaining and intrinsically disruptive in nature, instead it is the business model enabled by the technology that leads to the creation of the disruptive impact. Disruptive innovations are straightforward technologically and consist of components in product architecture that make it simpler than the previous approaches. They are highly valued in the emerging markets compared to the established markets with their unique attribute package. The report here aims to focus on impact, role and future trends of disruptive technology on the Australian Hotel and Hospitality industry.
Impact of Disruptive Technology on Australian Hotel and Hospitality Industry
There was a time when the hotels, motels and hospitality business occupied simple spaces in people’s lives where people could enjoy a family time far away from home. But someone who have spent time in the hospitality industry in the last couple of years knows how there has been a drastic expansion of technology in the hospitality business. Gradually they are becoming hubs of activity thereby making various forms of disruptive technology as an integral part of the hotel operation and guest experience compared to the past. One such technology is fixed mobile convergence that represents the union of the wireless and wired technologies (Gosselin et al., 2015). There exist three separate aspects of convergence that includes network, device and applications. At network level, the Internet Protocol (IP) networks helps in driving much of the convergence that enables unification of the multiple services on common platform of network. However, the networks within an enterprise are largely based on IP with sole reliance on wireless LAN technologies and Ethernet. There has been an increased dependence on IP based networks even outside enterprises. At the device layer the fixed mobile convergence is trying to ensure a ubiquitous connectivity anytime and anywhere. In terms of applications, fixed mobile convergence helps in delivering powerful display capabilities and processing. For instance, image sharing has been incorporated in messaging along with real time video and voice sessions (Nikou & Mezei, 2013).
It has been found that most of the employee population of an enterprise does not remain fixed during a particular working day. They remain mobile on a variety of locations both inside as well as outside the office which might include partner and client sites, airports, hotels and home (Ko & Jeng, 2015). In such a scenario, fixed mobile convergence helps in coordinating and providing same service irrespective of the environment. Nowadays, various businesses are deploying the fixed mobile convergence solution for not only addressing employee and business concerns but also broader areas of business communication.
Now let’s discuss the impact of a disruptive technology like fixed mobile convergence on Australian hotel and hospitality industry (Young & Hancer, 2014). Initially, people made use of their room phones however the introduction of mobile devices has reduced their role. The technology of fixed mobile convergence can once again make the room phone service act as a hub for a greater connected experience. This technology enables us to image a situation when a guest enters the hotel room and immediately pairs the mobile device with the room phone. This leads to situation when he can not only control the sound system as well as the TV but can also place a request for a wakeup call. The facility will also enable the hotel authorities to information him about the status of his dry cleaning even when he is away for a meeting. Fixed mobile convergence will also allow the guest to take call from the hotel lobby so that he does not miss the meeting. Though it might seem like a piece of science fiction but such technology is available or is in the process of development in the hospitality sector. It seems like, with fixed mobile convergence the guest of future will remain more connected than before.
Role of Disruptive Technology on the Australian Hotel and Hospitality Industry
The implementation of disruptive technology will in turn help in changing the profitability of the individual hotels (Torres, Singh & Robertson-Ring, 2015). Innovative disruptive technologies like fixed mobile convergence help in creating realities for the new market (Christensen & Raynor, 2013). Thus, for prospering in the presence of the newer realities, hotel and hospitality industry of Australia needs to understand the ways in which they come about, their implications and the necessary adaptation required for the benefit of the stakeholders and the clients.
Traditionally the hotel and hospitality industry of Australia has shown a slower pace in the adoption of newer technology (Pisano, 2015). There has been a natural reluctance towards the adoption of the information technology that has proved to be disadvantageous for the hotel industry. With increasing expectations of the guest service, the situation can prove to be detrimental for the maintenance of an international hotel in highly competitive market.
Fixed mobile convergence represents the next bigger thing in the field of communication. The technology not only helps in enhancing the workforce of the company boosts security and improves productivity but also provides a competitive advantage to the hotel and hospitality industry. The scalability of fixed mobile convergence allows provision for future innovation and growth thereby implying cost benefit. The technology will enable faster answer to customer queries and effective collaboration of branch offices thereby allowing the hospitality industry to survive easily in a competitive global economy. The technology of convergence also enables customers and employees to remain connected through a single number irrespective of their location. Fixed mobile convergence in association with WebRTC also allows video conferencing that helps the employees in creating a strong impression on the prospects and the clients. The technology also allows workers of the hospitality sector to get quick access to features like call transfer from their desktop phone via their mobile. This helps in saving their time as they can make use of a single voicemail box (Mastorakis et al. 2015). Fixed mobile convergence ensures control and security to the communication platforms of the enterprise by minimizing the chance unauthorised access and call snooping while conference. Fixed mobile convergence also ensures productive gains as they allow the employees to use same communication platform irrespective of the device. However, through the employment of policies that helps in routing mobile through the Contact Centre and Cloud Telephony systems and also negotiated rate, lowest cost and fixed line networks businesses can look forward in reducing their telecommunication costs.
Future Trends of Disruptive Technology on Australian Hotel and Hospitality Industry
The entry of millennial generation into the workforce have forced organizations in adapting the flexible means of working which includes communication across any mobile devices during any time. This is even true for the hospitality industry that also looks for cost effective and smarter communication tools via cloud technology that makes sure that all the communication channels remain in sync. Adoption of the fixed mobile convergence will thus allow businesses to ensure timely response to the customer needs, centralise the processes without adding any sort of complexity and drive out additional cost. Thus, with the constant emergence of the new trends the hotel and hospitality industry is undergoing change at a rapid pace (Christensen, 2013). However, some of the future trends of disruptive technology posing an influence on the Australian hotel and hospitality industry are as follows:
Mobile Device serving as a Door Key: Technology has brought about a evolution where the previous piece of metal known as key got transformed into some data on the mobile device of the guests (Ivanov, Webster & Berezina, 2017). This technology has made things easier for the guests as well as the hospitality industry and hence many hotels across Australia have started implementing it.
Apps for the Guests: The vision of having connected guests ensures looking at every aspect of guest experience. This requires a single hub for operation and the guest apps on personal mobile seems a natural place for hosting such functions. This particular app is a smartly designed one that combines every little aspect from hotel services, deal notifications to the various loyalty programs (Adukaite et al., 2013). The app can also be used for electronically sending the guests the itineraries of the event along with a map indicating the venue for the meeting. Some of the important hotels of Australia have already incorporated certain element with addition of modern capabilities on a day to day basis. However much of the integration and technology is in the process of development and the hospitality industry with a connected experience would be brimming with empowered and happy guests.
- Automation of Service: This allows the guests to do things themselves including check in and check out. Many hotels are working on app that allows the guests for ordering room service from the mobile devices (Buhalis & Amaranggana, 2015). This helps in reducing the headache of the employees and enhances guest experience. With time this trend is believed to get accelerated.
- Modern Meeting Spaces: Technology has led to the evolution of the modern spaces for meetings which does not require tables, serving carts and chairs (Rogers, 2013). In modern meeting people either need to undertake video conferencing or create multimedia presentations or both depending on the situations. Hotel now are gradually adapting to the changing times and are making the spaces more user friendly.
- Advanced Lounges:Guests nowadays looks for a place outside their room where they can not only relax but have an access of Wi-Fi that allows them to go through airline check ins and information on local guides (Zhou et al., 2014). With time the hospitality businesses are helping in transforming the desires of the guests into some public spaces where they have technology access and engage to it as per their own terms.
- Promotion of Social Listening: There are many times whenthe guests want to share their experiences at the hotels but they do not always do it directly to the hotel authorities (Leung et al., 2013). Hence there should be presence of social listening tools that will help the authorities to know about the needs, desires, wants and complaints of the guests and initiate an immediate conversation in case the matter seems serious. This aspect is particularly necessary in the world of hospitality as its existence depends on online reviews and word of mouth that also helps in determining their competitive edge.
The report ends in a note by discussing the future trends of the disruptive technology on the hotel industry. There is also discussion on the role and the impact of the disruptive technology on the Australian hotel and hospitality industry. It can also be said that internet acts as treasure trove for the business provided they know how to use it. Technology has brought about a change in how the hospitality sector operates. There has been a move from the core hardware to software solutions based on Cloud. The perception of work environment has also changed with more fluid and flexible working hours. Employees now expect to connect instantly with the customers and colleagues through video, social media, email or any technology driven device. The hospitality sector has also extended the capabilities of collaboration via mobile device for meeting the newer demands of its guests that has resulted in the growth of the market for fixed mobile convergence technology.
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