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Hotels Must Align Strategic Business and IT Priorities

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A new report launched by Amadeus, titled Transform Your Growth Strategy Now, says that if hotels are to secure growth in the next three years they must align strategic business and IT priorities now.

The report, in conjunction with industry expert Robert Cole, identifies gaps that exist between hotel technology, marketing and operations that are currently blunting growth strategies and ambitions.

The report introduces the concept of the IT Pathfinder as a means of bridging the gap between corporate business and technology objectives. An IT Pathfinder can be defined as a role, function or approach that uses a common language to unite IT and business needs; focusing on mutual areas of benefit which deliver the greatest economic value.

 Based on extensive research and qualitative interviews with leading industry figures, the report provides insights into how hotels groups can fast-forward growth between 2011 and 2014 and better understand the current barriers to organisational performance. The risks and opportunities facing the hospitality industry in the next three years are also examined.

“In the last 12 months we have seen customers take a more optimistic, determined approach to securing growth. This paper looks at what can be done in the next three years to catalyse this growth in the hotel industry,” said Jérôme Destors, Director of Hotel IT, Amadeus. “Gaps between technology, marketing and operations can inhibit global expansion and damage brand value, which is why it’s so important to align technology to core strategic priorities. Amadeus’ experience of the marketplace has shown us that flexible, open IT platforms are favoured by hoteliers because they help break down these barriers to success.”

Robert Cole, author of the report, said, “Following the challenging market conditions of the last three years, now is the time to focus on growth. For most hotel groups the priority is how to deliver this growth by expanding into new territories, attracting new customers and improving service offerings. Underpinning these strategies with the right technology infrastructure and systems requires a new approach which can be embodied by the concept of the IT Pathfinder. Hopefully this report will stimulate discussion and offer a roadmap for those tasked with realising business transformation.”

Three Key Areas

 Bringing together business needs and IT: The report suggests only by fully aligning business and IT priorities can hotel groups implement corporate strategy effectively. This involves greater definition of strategic business priorities and strategic IT priorities using a common language and vocabulary. By viewing IT through the lens of the guest experience, real innovations can be found.

Introducing the IT Pathfinder: Introducing the concept of the IT Pathfinder, the report explores the options for greater streamlining of a hotel’s approach to technology. The IT Pathfinder can be viewed either as a role, function or approach, but its purpose is three-fold: to understand how the operating environment impacts key business drivers; to link IT initiatives to corporate strategy; and to roadmap ways to create economic value from IT initiatives.

 Delivering business transformation: The report recognises every hotel group is different, with different product portfolios, competitive positioning and shareholder objectives. However, the report identifies the common characteristics to optimising technology investment which include eliminating dangers and risks, capitalising on opportunities and leveraging organisational strengths.

The Transform Your Growth Strategy Now report will be presented at HITEC 2011 as part of an open series of educational seminars and events for conference delegates and exhibition attendees. The session will take place on Monday, 20 June 2011 at 13:30 in room 10C and include presentations from report author Robert Cole; Flo Lugli, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Wyndham Worldwide; Mike Blake, Chief Information Officer at Hyatt Hotels Corporation; Caryl Helsel, Director Central Reservations & Revenue Management at ARAMARK Parks & Destinations; and will be chaired by Vic Pynn, Executive Vice President, Amadeus Americas and Jérôme Destors, Director of Hotel IT at Amadeus.

The report was commissioned by Amadeus and developed by RockCheetah, a travel industry marketing strategy and technology consulting practice.

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