It’s not uncommon for businesses in the hospitality industry to use legacy systems. A number of factors make it difficult to upgrade to more modern technology, including cost, complexity, and the time commitment required to make the change.
But why is making the switch so hard?
Customer centricity is particularly important in hospitality where service is the heart of the business’ offering. However, many run legacy systems that contain vital data integral to delivering great service to customers and guests. Ensuring that data gets migrated properly comes with risk. In fact, Gartner predicts that “60% of infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders will encounter public cloud cost overruns that negatively impact their on-premises budgets.”
In part 1 of our 2-part series on legacy technology, we’ll explore why it’s important to upgrade and how hotels and event facilities are making the transition.
During today’s age of digital transformation, eventually it will become infeasible for hotels and event facilities to rely on legacy systems. Limitations may outweigh the benefits, maintenance can be expensive or cumbersome, and/or managing information across multiple locations becomes impossible without a centralized database.
Being slow to adopt modern technologies can adversely impact growth and a hotel’s competitive advantage. A recent article sums up the reason to make the switch to newer technology: “Incompetent technologies can inflict more damages to the hotel business.”
Take Salesforce for example. Salesforce Classic, released in 2000, is now legacy technology. While Salesforce has not announced a retirement date for Salesforce Classic, the company stopped building new features in 2019 and is focusing its efforts on the newer Salesforce Lightning solution. Salesforce Lightning has a more modern, appealing user interface, but its business benefits extend far beyond the surface. Some enhanced features include improved security, capabilities to streamline the sales process, and AI-powered analytics. Upgrading to a newer technology like Salesforce Lightning offers many business benefits such as improved efficiency, a smoother sales process, and reduced risk with enhanced security.
It’s clear there are business benefits to upgrading legacy systems, all of which lead to improving the guest experience and helping businesses put the guest at the heart of their decisions. But how do you begin the process? Below are steps on how to move towards more innovative technology.
Start with a data migration strategy and plan to standardize data. By standardizing data, information can be collected from multiple sources consistently, making it easier to be applied across several areas of the business.
For hospitality businesses with extensive legacy technology, consider an integration hub. Through the use of third-party APIs, information from a legacy system can flow into a modern, centralized database when a specific event occurs. This enables businesses to streamline processes, reduce manual tasks, and maintain data integrity without overhauling old technology overnight.
Successfully upgrading technology and changing the old policies and procedures requires training. Employees need to understand the importance of data and be educated on the proper way to use the new technology. Change management typically takes time and requires repetitive support and resources to help employees adapt to the new procedures.
After making an upgrade, hospitality businesses now have the benefit of centralized information and reporting. This makes it easier to analyze the customer journey and find gaps that new tools and features can fill to develop a more customer-centric culture.
Upgrading legacy systems improves performance, the customer experience, and positions businesses for future growth. With the right planning and the right partner, it’s possible for hotels and event facilities to adopt newer technologies over time. In part 2 of our series on legacy technology, we’ll explain how Thynk’s hospitality cloud, powered by Salesforce Lightning, helps move the hospitality industry towards innovation.
Book a demo today to find out how Thynk can modernize your tech stack and help you drive growth!