How Cloud Computing Can be Beneficial for Hotels
While cloud computing has become a hot topic in recent times, many people still wonder what exactly it means to store something “in the cloud.” And no, this has completely nothing to do with the weather! This concept might be confusing, especially for those in the hospitality industry who might not grasp its relevance to their operations.
However, hoteliers can use cloud computing to launch an efficient, harmonized back office and to improve guests’ experience. It can help them reduce their budget on software, reduce run time and response time, and a lot more. Overall, cloud computing has its advantages and the technology can help hotels deliver impeccable guest experiences.
What is Cloud Computing?
“The cloud” is a term used for the internet to describe the possibility of using programs, storing files, or accessing data through the internet. It requires no use of a computer’s hard drive. It works more like editing a Google Doc or uploading files to Dropbox.
It’s different from writing in a Word document or storing photos in the “Pictures” folder of your computer, which simply uses the local storage on the computer. Cloud-based applications and programs stay on third-party servers. For instance, cloud-based hotel software companies could choose to rent space with other companies to host their applications.
Some applications integrate both cloud computing and local storage. For example, with Microsoft Office, you can create a PowerPoint on your device. However, when you save the file, it is uploaded to Microsoft OneDrive, which lives in the cloud.
Cloud Computing in the Hotel Industry
Cloud computing is already impacting the operations of many industries in different ways. But what’s in it for the hotel industry? To begin with, cloud-based systems innovate faster because they can implement changes immediately. Users don’t need to download updates.
In the hospitality industry, Cloud Computing integrates Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). These are the architectural layers of cloud computing.
- Software as a service (SaaS): This layer features a complete application given as a service on demand. A single application of the software runs on the cloud and serves several end-users.
- Platform as a service (PaaS): This layer provides a service that can be utilized to build higher-level services. It embraces two perspectives, which are based on the perception of the producer or consumer of the services.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): Infrastructure as a service provides basic storage and computing capabilities as standardized services on the network. It works with servers, routers, storage systems, and other systems to handle activities ranging from application components to high-performance computing applications.
Companies that offer cloud-based computing technology have expanded their systems to include various applications, which target the hotel industry. Examples include a booking engine, channel manager, revenue management tool, and more. Hotels that use these services get automatic, timely updates to help them offer the best services.
At the same time, they can send feedback to their host companies about any glitches or bugs, which the host company can resolve quite faster. For hoteliers, implementing cloud-based software could harmonize operations, make them more efficient, save time for employees, and even redefine guests’ experience positively.
Benefits of Cloud Computing for the Hotel Industry
Business costs reduction
Implementing cloud computing technology could help hotels bring down their business costs by a significant margin. With this technology, hotels can easily pay only for what they demand. Hoteliers can keep their upfront costs low as they only pay for the computing power and cloud storage, which their facilities actually need.
Besides, cloud computing can help hoteliers bring down their energy, hardware, or operations costs. It reduces the need for hardware overload in hotels, which eventually minimizes energy costs by a significant margin.
Similarly, cloud computing in hotels reduces project time, leading to cost reduction and higher productivity. Overall, by shifting their software services to the cloud, hotels can witness great opportunities for growth, efficiency, and development.
Improved Guest Experiences
In the hospitality industry, an effective and efficient hotel Property Management System (PMS) works to deliver two main purposes. It provides hotel staff with the best set of management tools and assists them to deliver a top-notch guest experience.
Cloud computing comes into play as an added advantage to free hotel staff from their fixed terminals and allow them to work independently and more efficiently. When systems are in the cloud, hotel guests can easily do their check-ins from their smartphones or any internet-enabled mobile device.
This eliminates the need to go through the front desk, especially at a time when guests are tired and exhausted from long flights. Additionally, moving software operations to the cloud comes with increased speed. Guests can access products and services faster and seamlessly, thereby enhancing their hotel experience.
Faster, Easier Direct Bookings
Traditionally, hotels used to pay hefty commissions for bookings to online and offline travel agencies. However, as cloud computing technology becomes more widespread, many players in the hospitality industry no longer need to always rely on travel agents.
Cloud-powered services can help hotels improve their websites by integrating a web-booking engine into their PMS. Besides, cloud computing technology delivers timely updates, which makes the process smoother, cheaper, and time-saving. Consequently, hoteliers can focus on aspects that would improve guest experience and generate revenue for the facility.
Remote management of hotels
Sometimes it’s difficult for hotel owners to manage operations in their facilities when they are not present on the property. However, this could be easier when they shift to cloud computing. The technology allows users to access it and work on it at any time anywhere.
Cloud computing requires only a stable internet connection and an internet-enabled device. You can work remotely on your laptop, computer, smartphone, or tablet. Once installed, this technology allows hotel owners to run their properties with no worry of server downtime or their absence from the facility.
The wind of Cloud Computing is already sweeping across various industries and the hospitality sector is not an exception. For hospitality service providers who still use traditional software installed on hotel computers, it’s time to consider moving to cloud computing.
This modern technology delivers all the benefits of a cloud-based system, which helps hoteliers save money on their IT budget. Besides, cloud-based systems don’t require a lengthy installation process and work seamlessly with other systems. While hotel owners cannot control the weather, they can use the cloud to help them meet their business goals.
Alex Mirza, The Founder & CEO of Mogul – Humanizing Travel. Its platform Staymogul.com provides booking, services, and Mogulrecruiter.com provides talent solutions for the hospitality industry.