The concept of cloud computing is often misunderstood within the hospitality industry, however the technology is garnering some degree of acceptance with hoteliers. Adoption of cloud-based data management has been slow, lagging behind other industries. Cost concerns and a general resistance to change are largely driving this lag, but the future of data management lies in the cloud. Hoteliers have much to gain and little risk in adopting cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) computing solutions, which offer access from any authorized device.
Cloud based SaaS platforms are extremely cost effective as cloud providers, like Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Engine, are responsible for the server maintenance and data backups. SaaS platform services are usually provided on an as-needed basis, without costly equipment, resulting in lower initial investments and reduced costs over time. Only the required amount of power and storage need be paid for by the hotel or chain. Another advantage is that users can access cloud software from anywhere, using any device with an Internet connection, including mobile phone, tablet, or a laptop. Cloud software is designed entirely with the end-user and their skill level in mind.
Practical everyday applications for hoteliers of a cloud-driven SaaS platform include enhancing the hotel guest experience through greater personalization of services. The individual preferences of guests, including dietary needs and specific allergies for example, can be more effectively managed in the cloud. A cloud-based SaaS Property Management System (PMS) and Central Reservation System (CRS) can give hotels the real-time flexibility to best leverage today’s travelers who are routinely connected to the Internet. Hoteliers can build and maintain a better connection with their guests, even when they are away from the hotel property, through a variety of hotel services, such as mobile concierge. Also, cloud technology gives hoteliers the capability to effectively establish partnerships with companies that provide peripheral services to guests like transportation, entertainment, and recreation.
Cloud-based SaaS is revolutionizing day-to-day hotel operations as well. Every facet of property management can be monitored and directed from the cloud. Property maintenance, tracking and ordering of hotel supplies inventory, and human resources can all be better administered through cloud technology driven, SaaS platforms. The significantly lowered costs and increased efficiency will ultimately drive the hospitality migration to SaaS and cloud technology. Storing, maintaining, and accessing data through the cloud offers hoteliers significant savings while improving the levels of customer service offered to their guests.
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