Information Technology in the hotel industry, as in all other branches of the economy, is subject to constant changes that directly affect the productivity of the hotel business. Today the changes are becoming deeper and the speed of technological evolution increases exponentially.
The natural resistance to change is more evident in this field due to the need to be permanently updated, or to have enough help to keep us abreast of the advances and possibilities offered by technology (Collin, 2002). However, taking advantage of information technological advantages will allow the management to gain a lot of distance from the rest of the competitors and improve the efficiency of our businesses.
This is evidenced in the Australian market , which shows that the hotel industry is a leading sector in the use of technologies. Experience has shown that the commitment to information technology is a strategic factor, both from the point of view of the new chain of hotels and the hotel sector in particular (Feng, Stocklin, & Wang, n.d.). In this sense, it is essential that hotels approach technology, but not in an abstract way, but, above all, depending on the particularities of each establishment.
The implementation of technology in the hotels must be carefully systematized, and respond to several levels in which the organization makes the most of each tool. To this end, hotels should consider six basic areas on which to work to bring maximum potential to technology (Gray, & Liguori, 2003).
Completes completeness of all processes. All elements of the system must be connected to each other, ie the hotel must be connected to the market, through online distribution systems (in permanent update), integrated with the corresponding reservation management module in the Reception of the hotel, and integrated with the commercial management (CRM) (Inouye Alan S., Blumenthal, & Mitchell, 2003).
From the point of view of customer perception, a service such as making a reservation, and even check-in at the hotel from a smartphone during the trip, or receive information from the hotel and where to park bring an added value increasingly valued , Which accommodations must be prepared to provide to their guests. This will enable the hotel to attract more customers and loyalty for the hotel.
In order for the integration of the management systems to be complete and have a real impact on the business, it must have complete automation that allows the accounting system to obtain the necessary reports for the management control , as well as to perform the analysis from the different perspectives of the management (Kainthola, 2009). It is about eliminating the manual introduction of data and opting for a single process, which prevents the registration of data in the system that had previously been entered. All this results in the reliability and accessibility of the information, which, at the same time, means saving on working time and avoiding repetitive revisions and corrections. This improves efficiency in the hotel which improves customers loyalty to the Stay together hotel.
Each hotel has its own needs, different from those of other establishments and, therefore, must operate with an optimal structure. As bad is the technology defect as the excess. On the one hand, giving up its advantages will leave us out of play in our business relationships, deprive them of market insight, slow down processes and reduce the managements ability to analyze and make decisions (Wright, 2009).
On the other hand, embarking on an overly complex website will slow down their movements and deplete unnecessary energy in areas that are not the core of the business (core business) that is hosting management (Stoyles, Pentland, & Demant, 2004). For this reason, being surrounded by professionals who are experts in this subject is the most advisable option, since it means achieving the optimal structure and the correct operation of technological systems, which translates into cost savings and greater efficiency and productivity.
The technological model has to be flexible enough to adapt to business developments effortlessly. Thus, growth in activity, opening of new lines of business, inclusion in new fields of action, opening of new establishments, etc. are circumstances that must be anticipated and able to attend to the technology we use (Stoyles, Pentland, & Demant, 2004). There is a cost savings effect after the hotels merged to give the hotels a competitive advantage.
The information technology system is easily upgradeable. Another important factor is that the chain of hotels structure, both hardware and software, can be easily updated, adapting to the evolution of the technological environment. This translates into implementing version updates, applying new utilities, avoiding obsolescence, providing better speeds and increasing security measures; Processes that have to be agile and never traumatic for the hotel. Data security. Regardless of the technological level that the hotel has, a factor that requires the maximum attention is the security of the information. But on the other hand, and more importantly, it has to do with having enough protections to shield information systems from hotel management information leaks, while preventing malware infections, viruses and other malicious intrusions. The advantages of working in the cloud are increasingly evident and its use is increasingly widespread among computer users, and especially in companies that require flexible and adaptable technology solutions that can be quickly resized without major technical difficulties (Stoyles, Pentland, & Demant, 2004). Our experience shows that cloud models bring many benefits: investing in converting a traditional model based on economic immobilization with hardware and software to a SaaS (software as a service) model will make a difference for the hotels, especially in the sector Hotelier In this sense, the cloud implies that hotels should see in the software a service that brings great advantages in the hotel's results account and in the daily operations of the establishments. The possibility of paying for use (avoiding oversizing), not having to be aware of backups or updates of programs, not having to invest in servers and their maintenance, are some of the most obvious advantages (Singh, & Dewan, 2009).
Information Technology offers the opportunity to improve the performance and productivity of hotels and is within the reach of any establishment as long as its managers have the support and knowledge of experienced professionals, who will not only optimize the investment in technology, but also Will provide the most appropriate tools for management, decision making and the achievement of business objectives.
The hotels have at their disposal a large number of technological tools that can be used both to improve the efficiency of their internal processes and in their meetings with customers. There are multiple contingency factors related to the use of ICT; Namely the availability of sufficient capital to invest in technology, the presence of qualified staff to develop and / or use technological applications, external advice from technology experts, management's interest in implementing ICT applications, or The investment in technology by the competition, which forces the hotel to renew and innovate (Scott, & Nalty, 2013).
The use of IT has made the big hotel chains stay in the forefront and always innovating and implementing new ways to satisfy their customers. Hotels become better developed, organized, qualified and competitive, compared to low-level hotels that do not use it (Scott, & Nalty, 2013).The hotel industry has developed over time, not only in infrastructure but also in technological advances, large hotels are at the top of the scale in terms of technology, thanks to this their services are of better quality than in other places.
These technologies favor the development of customer management tools (CRM), which is a valuable competitive tool adopted mainly by hotel chains in order to identify the most relevant benefits for each customer segment, to ensure that the supply and attributes Of the hotel are consistent with the wishes of the clients and improve the efficiency of the service (Schultz, 2006).
The absence of IT system in the fourth category hotel establishments in the city o is worrisome, because due to the lack of knowledge about its existence and the lack of use of technology as a means of organizing hotels cannot generate equitable development and Which allows all hotels in the city to be of quality.
Hotels in the fourth category usually do not use information and communication technologies because they are unaware of them, and this causes a very great discomfort, because however small the establishment, it must possess the appropriate technological tools that facilitate the administration Of the place.
The continuous satisfaction of the needs and desires of the clients not only requires investment in ICT by the hotel company, but also have personnel trained in the use of technology capable of adding value to the customer's travel experience (Odden, 2012).
It is probable that the scarce use of the necessary resources for a good hotel development is due to the non existence of trainings in which the establishments of the fourth category are included, and in the cases where the application of IT exists but with an incorrect handling It is also necessary that you submit your workers to courses where they help make your knowledge better.
It is possible that in some hotel establishments there are tools to encourage IT, but they are not used adequately as a means to improve their organization, being limited to following an old process, which does not favor and that rather hurts hotels by not being able to enter To the medium as quality establishments (Odden, 2012).
When the management talk about quality, the first thing to think of is at the best level possible. A company that offers the highest level and best satisfies the customer is positioned above its competition taking over much of the market. If the facilities are not properly maintained, the customer service is incorrect, and the animations shine by their absence, that customer will be dissatisfied, will not have fulfilled their expectations and therefore most likely neither return to the hotel nor show their opinion In some Internet portal.It is not to satisfy the first customer perfectly and fail with the rest, but the quality standards must be maintained with all customers. What's more, it must be about improving and offering a better service to each new customer. For it to work, it must be understood by the whole organization.It is important to use an alert system that notifies clients if there has been any publication about the hotel. So every time a client talks about the hotel on an Internet portal about their experience, the management will receive a notice and they will know the opinion of that client. A good website is to be established a system to capture customer opinions. It is important that it is quick and easy, otherwise few customers will carry it out (Murray, & Aspinall, 2006). The hotels should have a person or team in charge of the online presence of the hotel that manages the opinions published on the Internet. Monitor social networks.
The management of the hotel should be aware of the quality offered and not create expectations above what it can offer, as that sale can end up being detrimental. If the customer is unsatisfied, it will probably reflect it in some way damaging the hotel's reputation.When presenting the hotel offer, the management must offer complete and clear descriptions that reflect the offered service, complement with photographs and opinions of other clients.
Selection: When selecting hotel staff, it is very common to focus on "technical" aspects only. However the management has to keep in mind that they will have direct contact with customers and that their satisfaction depends on them (Kirk, 2009). Training: it is necessary to give a training on the offered service, to the point that it knows perfectly all the necessary aspects to offer an optimal and effective customer service. Authority: when supervising the work at the hotel, it must be taken into account that the person who is performing a task is the person who knows best how to do it and therefore, is the most suitable for improving it.
It is also important to generate a good working climate: the recognition of the achieved achievements of personal form and together helps to maintain a motivating environment. Promote teamwork: involve workers in business objectives, making them feel part of the success achieved.Provide the necessary tools: analyzing the needs of the staff to attend to clients and investing in the latest technologies involves an efficient and fast performance, showing a great capacity on the part of the hotel when it comes to acting.
Nowadays, online presence involves much more than our own website, so being attentive to possible contacts through social networks is very important to show good service and attention. In the same way, participate and answer to the "reviews" of customers in other Internet portals.The staff who handles the reservation calls should be friendly, helpful and well versed in the policies and services offered by the hotel. A high level of satisfaction at this point can positively set the tone for the client's stay (Marchewka, 2015).
Each client has different needs and their expectations are not going to be the same. Therefore the management of the hotel should be able to recognize which type of clientele is the one that fits their service offered and communicate it to the rest of the staff receiving specific training to satisfy the customers.
Collin, S. (2002). Dictionary of information technology ;3. ed.. London: Peter Collin Publishing.
Feng, J., Stocklin, S., & Wang, W. Educational strategies for the next generation leaders in hotel management.
Gray, W., & Liguori, S. (2003). Hotel and motel management and operations. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: PH/PTR.
Inouye Alan S., Blumenthal, M., & Mitchell, W. (2003). Beyond productivity. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.
Kainthola, V. (2009). Principles of hotel management. Chandni Chowk, Delhi [India]: Global Media.
Kirk, A. (2009). Information technology. New York: Ferguson.
Marchewka, J. (2015). Information technology project management. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Murray, D., & Aspinall, A. (2006). Getting IT. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Odden, L. (2012). Optimize. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.
Schultz, R. (2006). Contemporary issues in ethics and information technology. Hershey, PA: IRM Press.
Scott, D., & Nalty, K. (2013). Beyond viral. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.
Singh, U., & Dewan, J. (2009). Hotel management. New Delhi: APH Pub. Corp., in association with Indian Institute of Management.
Stoyles, P., Pentland, P., & Demant, D. (2004). Information technology. North Mankato, Minn.: Smart Apple Media.
Stoyles, P., Pentland, P., & Demant, D. (2004). Information technology. North Mankato, Minn.: Smart Apple Media.
Wright, E. (2009). Federal information technology. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
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