With the rise of innovative hotel software in a radically changing era, trend lines continue to slope in favor of an integrated hotel management system that emphasizes mobile and guest-driven processes, all managed above location in the cloud.
But there are many organizations who continue to stick to the on-prem status quo. This hesitancy to change is a barrier for many organizations to see the benefits to their businesses in the long run, particularly in an era when alignment across all hotel properties is as essential as ever.
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To help address that, here are 4 common hospitality cloud software myths to better understand and then dispel while competing in a fast-moving and constantly evolving hospitality industry that is set to face new challenges.
1. “Companies have less control over their own data”
This myth represents a disconnect of not being able to point at a physical server as something that is overtly owned. While it’s true that with a cloud platform, company data is stored by a technology partner across a selection of remote servers, that doesn’t mean that there is less access to company data or that the data itself isn’t within the control and ownership of the hospitality business. In fact, cloud-based storage and access lends a great deal more control to business.
This is best expressed in the hardware and location agnostic nature of cloud-based hotel software delivered via SaaS. In the cloud, data can be accessed anywhere on any device and is not reliant on the performance of a single on-site server. Collected data and reporting for a single location or range of them is more easily visible as a single source of truth hosted in a common data ecosystem that’s available across the business, day and night.
2. “The cloud is less secure than on-premises”
The confusion between control of data vs control of the hardware on which that data is stored also overlaps into discussions about cloud security. The misconception is that if companies can’t see the physical servers, that makes them more vulnerable to attack. Yet, when data storage is spread across several servers, the odds of a physical intrusion are far less, as are the distractions to the main mission of hotel groups themselves – to serve guests, not manage hardware and the threat of data security breaches, physical and otherwise, in hotel locations.
This touches on the important concept of core competency which SaaS cloud services enable by their very nature. Turning over the security of company data to third-party providers may seem like a risk. But what doing that really means is that everyone involved can focus on what they’re best at. Keeping data secure against cyberattacks is where Amazon Web Services (AWS) and their partners excel. In fact, it’s the reason for their existence. That means better security in the hands of the experts, and greater focus for hotel groups to focus on their expertise – to serve guests and exceed expectations for great experiences.
3. “Cloud hotel property management systems are more expensive”
A fundamental shift from on-prem to the cloud can feel like a daunting task, with the expense of doing it at the top of the list. To address this in a considered manner, measuring ROI against expenses is best positioned as a greater focus on desired financial outcomes rather than on obligations to maintain a platform. To manage this, it’s helpful to consider that question of core competencies again. Cloud providers exist to manage servers and do so at costs determined by economies of scale, not by individual line items that can add up to a lot for an individual organization. That dynamic alone reduces costs for hotel groups, with the need for server maintenance and hardware replacement off the table entirely.
Meanwhile through SaaS, technology partners develop, improve, and update hotel software to enable hotel groups to be better at what they do – grant guests the personalized agency needed to enhance their stay in any location. From there, it’s easier for hospitality organizations to secure future revenues and greater guest lifetime value instead of carrying the burdens of hardware maintenance and software updates. The point is this; shedding costs that are not directly associated with your revenue and profitability goals helps hotel businesses achieve a higher level of focus and better ROI as a result.
4. “Making a transition from on-prem to cloud will disrupt service”
Cloud implementation is designed to be straightforward and without the requirement for hardware installation at multiple locations. Does this mean that implementation will always go off without a hitch? No. Each project and timeline is always slightly different than the last and troubleshooting is sometimes necessary. But here’s another thing to consider in the middle of that; with the right technology provider, hotel organizations don’t bear the burdens of the process alone.
The best partners seek to understand a hotel organization’s unique needs right from the start. They consult with internal and external experts on the best ways forward and help map out a realistic timeline. They are transparent all the way along. When it’s time to go live, the switch happens remotely across as many locations as are needed, simultaneously. Cloud technology is sophisticated. But implementation is designed to be collaborative between provider and hotel business, and seamless without guests even noticing.
There remains to be some hesitancy when it comes to migrating from on-prem to the cloud and embracing new technology in general. But when hotel groups dismiss the myths in favor of facts, the hesitancy to embrace new technology is easier to overcome.
Disruption and change are expected as technology, culture, and world events inform each other and grow together. Our current era has certainly proven that point. When it comes to the status quo, the goal posts are constantly on the move. Flexibility is necessary to account for shifts in the landscape. A robust cloud platform provides that very thing.