Hospitality businesses must store a lot of information. They must keep track of reservations, events, sales, loyalty program information, food inventory, and on. If they have multiple locations, in which case most do, keeping track of all of that information at once, while preserving the right levels of accessibility, can be difficult, hence the need for cloud computing systems. The tracking of these locations can be updated in real time and viewed anywhere so long as there is an internet connection.
According to Garner Insights, the global cloud computing industry is valued at over $209.9 billion and is expected to grow more than 17.93% over the forecast period 2017-2025. Cloud computing allows convenient access to networks, servers, storage, applications and services with the opportunities for flexible payments, scalable usage, automatic updates, accessibility, and so on. It also eliminates high costs of hardware acquisition and installation, provisioning, and maintenance and support. Cloud computing takes form in three models: software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). SaaS is the most popular because it requires the least work done by the user; everything is managed by the vendor.
Corner Bakery is one such company who recently jumped on board with the cloud. Frank Paci, CEO of Corner Bakery Cafe explains, “We outgrew our previous systems and we needed a more modern, cloud-based platform that could scale, be in line with our operational requirements, and serve our customers in a digital world. We needed to better connect our operations to our customers.” Their new system allows ‘all cafe locations to access real time transaction data to expedite in-store and phone ordering, billing, payments, customer insights, production and delivery.’ It can also allow for quick up-to-the-minute sharing of information to stakeholders, which can ease a big burden.
Boston Market has also embraced cloud technology in a unique way. Their goal for moving to the cloud was to help work-life balance for its employees and enable complex workforce scheduling and pay requirements. Its system also aims to ‘substantially reduce payroll processing time and provide decision-making support to the business on a much more dynamic basis.’ It’s important to note the positive enhancements cloud computing makes for employees at all levels.
For hotels, the ability of managers to monitor front desk activity, housekeeping operations, room rates through market shifts, are all streamlined on a cloud-based system. Choice Hotels is the largest chain to complete the full move to a cloud-based reservation system and property management platform, which was just completed in mid-March. Choice hopes the move will help analyze more data quicker to make effective changes.“We’re going to be able to use that data to make business decisions, but it’s going to require that system to move a lot faster,” President and CEO Pat Pacious said. The end goal of all of these technology advancements is for the consumers and making their experiences better.
Mostly positive things come from data analysis in real time and the streamlining of processes. The cost saving and ease of use make SaaS platforms attractive and worthwhile. Cloud-based computing systems should be highly considered in the hospitality sector because it can help increase profits and give a competitive advantage overall.
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