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Make the Case for a Room-as-a-Platform Initiative

An industry strategic foresight trends report

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In-room technology brings guest satisfaction and operational efficiency, but there are still barriers to implementation:

  • An in-room technology initiative is not a CIO’s top priority.
  • The hotel must be selective in what projects to undertake, as the pandemic has affected the IT budget.
  • There is the concern that the technology selected for implementation won’t gain the expected ROI.
  • Executives and managed or franchised hotel owners are reluctant to invest in digital technology.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Transform your in-room technology initiative into a room-as-a-platform strategy by analyzing the four driving trends that embrace the elements of a digital ecosystem and marketing platform, which in turn will create and enhance a seamless guest-centric experience.

Impact and Result

  • Identify: As a methodology, strategic foresight flows from identifying signals to clustering the signals together to form trends and uncover what is driving them to determine which strategic initiatives are most likely to lead to success on an industry level.
  • Prioritize: Further customize the scores to your hotel by tailoring the generalized weightings on an organization-specific level and determining the relevancy and timing for your hotel. By doing so, your hotel can determine which trend and technology to prioritize for your room-as-a-platform initiative.
  • Persuade: After establishing what trend and technology to prioritize, develop a minimum viable business case with the help of the trends report elements to make the case for stakeholders.

Make the Case for a Room-as-a-Platform Initiative Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Learn about the four key trends that will help transform your in-room technology initiative into a room-as-a-platform strategy.

1. Consumer Adaptive

Learn about the Consumer Adaptive trend and the drivers encouraging this technology in the guestroom.

2. Contactless Service

Learn about the Contactless Service trend and the drivers encouraging this technology in the guestroom.

3. Digital Sustainability

Learn about the Digital Sustainability trend and the drivers encouraging this technology in the guestroom.

4. Wow! Guest Experiences

Learn about the Wow! Guest Experiences trend and the drivers encouraging this technology in the guestroom.

5. Activities

Funnel trends into technological opportunities by determining what technology your hotel should prioritize and how to persuade stakeholders for approval.

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Make the Case for a Room-as-a-Platform Initiative

An industry strategic foresight trends report

Gaming & Hospitality Research Center powered by Info-Tech

Analyst perspective

"The role of the hotel CIO has been reshaped. You’re being asked to deliver much more as your role transitions into a more front-end one. As a business partner and technology advisor, you are expected to be an expert on technology and how it will affect the business.

"Driven by demand, many technology trends have accelerated, and so have the CIO’s pain points. Faced with the challenges of the pandemic, meeting expectations of guests while keeping up with the change in consumer demands, and an increased workload in the IT department, IT needs to help their hotel adopt technologies while considering their long-term technical and business impacts.

"An in-room technology initiative is not a hotel’s top priority – but it should be. The hospitality industry must realize that in-room technology is key in the success of a guest experience and can accomplish initiatives that hoteliers are already seeking, such as guest loyalty, trust, and analytics. IT’s barrier to implementation is two-fold: prioritization and persuasion. What technology does the CIO prioritize, especially with limited funds and resources? And how does the CIO pitch this initiative to their stakeholders, who often disagree or are reluctant to invest in projects?

"Info-Tech’s approach focuses on an analyst’s investigation of strategic foresight, a methodology that helps IT and the business process what is happening in the external environment in a way that guides ideation and opportunity identification. As a methodology, strategic foresight flows from identifying signals to clustering the signals together to form trends and uncover what is driving them to determine which strategic initiatives are most likely to lead to success on an industry level."

Larry Fretz, Vice President, Gaming & Hospitality, Info-Tech Research Group

Monica Pagtalunan, Research Specialist, Gaming & Hospitality, Info-Tech Research Group

What are the current initiatives of a hotel CIO?

There is a lack of understanding of the advantages that in-room technology can bring. In fact, the right guestroom technology can enable all these initiatives.

94% - Driving guest loyalty

90% - Improving physical safety of guests and staff

90% - Reducing physical touchpoints at the property

80% - Enhancing privacy of guest and staff data

78% - Improving analytics

66% - Reducing cost of managing technology

60% - Increasing employee productivity

In-room technology is not a top priority for the hotel CIO

50% - Percentage of hotel CIOs that consider enhancing guestroom technology to be a current initiative

The CIO must consider guest and room expectations

Guestroom technology is not a top priority, but it should be.

50% - Percentage of hotel CIOs that consider enhancing guestroom technology to be a current initiative

In-room technology can provide what guests seek:

  • Flexibility: Give guests the flexibility to do what they want when they want in the room.
  • Control: When guests have control of the technology, they can create and personalize their own experience from their room. This technology would work seamlessly across devices and channels and provide communication between the guestroom and the rest of the hotel.
  • Simplicity: Guests want technology that’s stress-free and easy to use.
  • Service: In-room technology can affect the outer hotel experience, bringing more convenience and speed to service times.

Guest want control of their experience in the guestroom:

Prefer Hotel-Provided Smart Devices VS. Prefer Personal Devices
69% For in-room technology 31%
63% To order room service and housekeeping 37%
41% To make reservations for dining/spa 59%

Guests’ biggest frustrations about hotel stays:

38% - Front desk is taking too long to complete requests

34% - Outdated technology in rooms

31% - Service delays from hotel staff

The labor shortage in the hospitality industry will be long-term

The right in-room technology can help

According to the Singapore Hotel Association, Swissôtel The Stamford Singapore saw productivity savings between 30% and 35% after installing electronic do not disturb signs and applicable software. (NBC News, 2021)

Currently, many hotel operations are labor intensive, time consuming, and ineffective. The adoption of in-room technology presents an opportunity to solve the labor shortage challenge by:

  • Eliminating valueless processes and tasks.
  • Driving operational efficiency.
  • Operating more with fewer staff.

“38% of former hospitality workers report that they are not considering a hospitality job for their next position after COVID-19.” – Joblist’s US Job Market Q2 20211 (“Joblist Survey Finds…” Hospitality Technology, 2021)

“Labor has been an issue in this industry long before the pandemic. In 2019, our industry had 10 million jobs available and only 9 million were filled.” – Geoff Ballotti, President & CEO of Wyndham2(“Wyndham CEO Talks Labor…” Hospitality Technology, 2021)

Consider how your guestrooms stack up against competitors

The guestroom technology competitive landscape

Examine the following statistics that demonstrate what other hotel operators currently offer or plan to offer in the coming year so you don’t fall behind. Ask yourself, are your competitors making changes and investments you’re not making?

98% Free Wi-Fi

90% Contactless Payment

88% Smart TV/Streaming

84% Two-Way Messaging

76% Mobile Room Keys

56% Personal Devices

38% Voice-Controlled Devices

(“Lodging Technology Study 2021,” Hospitality Technology, 2021.)

Maturing IT can shift your organization from incremental improvement to business transformation

According to GHRC’s 2021 Benchmarking Report, IT innovation leadership, business applications, and client-facing technology are considered underrated services, with low importance and satisfaction metrics. Furthermore, from an IT staffing perspective, the heavy focus on infrastructure demonstrates that the industry has stalled on the IT Maturity Ladder as a trusted operator. By leveraging guestroom technology and placing more attention on applications and strategy, your hotel can demonstrate the value of IT and the satisfaction that can be provided. In the end, your IT department can establish credibility with business stakeholders and expand as a transformational or evolutionary innovator.

Service Importance Satisfaction
IT Innovation Leadership 11 72%
Service Importance Satisfaction
Business Applications 4 76%
Client-Facing Technology 7 69%

GHRC: Strategy, 14.2%; Applications, 38.2%; Infrastructure, 47.6%

All Segments: Strategy, 14.5%; Applications, 48.6%; Infrastructure, 36.95%

76% - GHRC Average Business Stakeholder Satisfaction

90%+ Satisfaction - Innovator *Aspirational

  • Information and Technology as a Competitive Advantage

80% Satisfaction - Business Partner *Aspirational

  • Effective Delivery of Strategic Business Projects

70% Satisfaction - Trusted Operator *GHRC Actual

  • Enablement of Business Through Applications and Work Orders

60% Satisfaction - Firefighter

  • Reliable Infrastructure and IT Service Desk

<60% Satisfaction - Unstable

  • Inability to Consistently Deliver Basic Services

The obstacles of an in-room technology initiative: Prioritization

“We also may not achieve the benefits that we anticipate from any technology or system, and a failure to do so could result in higher than anticipated costs or could impair our operating results.” – Marriott 2020 Annual Report (Marriott International 2020)

In-room technology brings guest satisfaction and operational efficiency, but there are still barriers to implementation:

  • The hotel must be selective in what projects to undertake, as COVID-19 has affected IT budgets.
  • There is the concern that the technology won’t gain the expected return on investment (ROI).

In the end, investment in research and development is a key factor that influences an organization’s innovative potential. Moreover, the organization must invest in the right innovation that will create increasing value overtime.

IT Budget Barriers

Stakeholder Respondents

44% of hotel IT professionals anticipate decrease in spending

24% of IT budget goes to rolling out and implementing new solutions

68% of IT budget goes to maintaining existing solutions

Hotel IT Technology Concerns

32% - Inability to derive ROI for technology rollouts

63% - Unsure of the direction of technology investment and where to best allocate resources

(“Lodging Technology Study 2021,” Hospitality Technology, 2021)

The obstacles of an in-room technology initiative: Persuasion

“The nature of our responsibilities … will from time to time give rise to disagreements, which may include disagreements over the need for or payment for new product, service or systems initiatives, the timing and amount of capital investments …” – Marriott 2020 Annual Report (Marriott International, 2020)

In-room technology brings guest satisfaction and operational efficiency, but there are still barriers to implementation:

  • Executives are reluctant to invest in digital technology.
  • Depending on the type of hotel, there may be disagreements with owners of hotels that are managed or franchised.

The difficulty is justifying the initiative to gain support. As a CIO, operate IT as a business enabler by building business acumen and using terminology your stakeholders will understand, which in turn will help you gain trust for future innovations.

“The reluctance to invest in digital technology comes from the lack of understanding that we are serving technology obsessed travel consumers who demand a hotel technological experience to be equal or better to what they have at home.” – Max Starkov, Founder of HEBS Digital (Hotel Technology News, 2019)

“When you are managing other people’s hotels, you then have to convince others to invest behind that technology in order to create a brand standard across all hotels.” – Michael Hobson, Chief Marketing Officer of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (Delporte Hospitality, 2018)

Transform your in-room technology initiative into a room-as-a-platform strategy

Room-as-a-platform brings together two overarching trends (systems):

Digital Ecosystem

  • Refers to the environment that businesses must compete within.
  • A key component of this trend involves laying the foundation for upcoming high-value implementations.
  • To accomplish this, your environment must allow for the connectivity of systems and processes so that your organization is in a better position to take advantage of projects in the coming years.

Connected Systems:

  • Technology
  • People

Connected Processes:

  • Channels
  • Strategy

Marketing Platform

  • Refers to a system that manages both operational and customer experiences with the ultimate objective of driving engagement. It’s after your guests have arrived that the bulk of the marketing begins. Prospects are already halfway down the sales funnel by the time they pass through your doors. By enticing your guests with specific technology, you’re enhancing the guest experience while driving present and future sales.

Key Components of a Marketing Platform

  • Organization
    • Track and maintain guest information in a database.
  • Design
    • Design and coordinate customer experiences.
  • Personalization
    • Drive relevancy in the content that the customer sees.
  • Management
    • Support operational aspects of the experience.
  • Optimization
    • Measure and maximize ROI across channels.
  • Knowledge
    • Present guidance, best practices, and knowledge to improve services.

Room-as-a-Platform: Framework

An in-room technology strategy should embrace the elements of a digital ecosystem and a marketing platform, which in turn will create and enhance a seamless guest-centric experience.

Foundational Elements

Establishing a Room-As-A-Platform strategy will require the incorporation of these IT components.

  • IoT
    • Brings connectivity
  • AI
    • Identifies patterns
  • Big Data
    • Amplifies analysis
  • Advanced Wireless
    • Optimizes network
  • Data and Integration
    • Breaks down data silos

Digital Ecosystem

The environment that businesses must compete within; brings connectivity and removes legacy items.

  • Connected Systems
    • Technology
    • People
  • Connected Processes
    • Strategy
    • Channels

Marketing Platform

A system that manages both operational and customer experiences with the ultimate objective of driving engagement through enhancing data, personalization, and efficiency.

  • Personalize the message
  • Learn best practices
  • Orchestrate the guest experience
  • Organize your database
  • Optimize the ROI
  • Manage the operations

Driving Trends

Trends that empower and drive a room-as-a-platform strategy

  • Consumer Adaptive
    • Adjusting services to in-home experiences
  • Contactless Service
    • In-room we trust
  • Digital Sustainability
    • Designing with the future in mind
  • WOW! Guest Experiences
    • Exceeding guest expectations

ROOM-AS-A-PLATFORM Business perspective

As hoteliers incorporate new technological innovations, they must remember that hospitality has always been and will always be about the people. A room-as-a-platform strategy begins with management’s needs but ends with the creation and enhancement of a customer-centric experience.

Potential Management Takeaways

  • Brand differentiation
  • Improved reputation
  • Increased revenue

Potential Staff Takeaways

  • Effective internal communication through streamlined operations
  • Operational efficiency and productivity savings
  • Employee confidence, satisfaction, and engagement

Potential Guest Takeaways

  • Increased convenience and accessibility of information and services
  • Expanded value
  • Met or exceeded expectations for various consumer segments

Build IT integration for connectivity and value

  • Integration breaks down data silos and connects data, applications, APIs, and devices across the hotel.
  • Integration also adds value through the new functionalities provided by connecting different system elements: AI, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and advanced wireless. These elements set the hotel up for future innovative projects.
  • The Gaming and Hospitality industry benchmarking data illustrates the extreme structuring around infrastructure. Typically, integration ties into applications, and based on GHRC data, less time is spent here in comparison with other industries. Ensure that your hotel is spending more time in this area.
  • The enablement of data and integration is the first step necessary to make the guestroom a “platform” because it provides a better understanding of guest preferences and the ability to act on them.

Leverage Info-Tech Integration Resources

Build an Application Integration Strategy

Build a Data Integration Strategy

Build Effective Enterprise Integration on the Back of Business Process

ROOM-AS-A-PLATFORM Foundational elements

Unlocking the potential of a room-as-a-platform strategy, which is enabled by data and integration, will require implementing the following elements:

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

AI is the ability for machines to simulate intelligent human behavior. Dependent on both algorithms and data, AI can interpret information to identify patterns. Some of the ways in which hotels will use this technology include making recommendations for activities, restaurants, and the best time to book hotels. The goal is to behave in a similar way to a human.

INTERNET OF THINGS

IoT is a constellation of connected devices with embedded sensors providing real-time information to an application layer. IoT describes the enhanced connectivity we now experience with everyday devices and appliances that would not typically boast such capabilities. From personalized guest experiences to a reduced ecological footprint, there are many reasons why hotels would consider using IoT technology.

BIG DATA

Big data is rapidly increasing amounts of data generated by multiple sources in many formats. To gain actionable insights, the data must be analyzed. Hotels can capitalize on the information about guests to drive business decisions, make the guest experience memorable, and improve the working conditions for associates. Both IoT and AI depend on big data to function at optimal levels.

ADVANCED WIRELESS

Two connectivity methods gaining visibility are 5G and Wi-Fi 6. Room-as-a-platform technology requires a strong technology infrastructure. This will require hotels to provide free Wi-Fi to guests to further the hospitality experience. With guests continuously ranking free Wi-Fi as their top priority, it becomes even more important because of the implementation of advanced technologies.

ROOM-AS-A-PLATFORM Four driving trends

Info-Tech’s strategic foresight for guestroom technology flows from identifying technology signals to categorically clustering the signals together to form the following impactful trends:

Consumer Adaptive

Adjusting Services to In-Home Experiences

The typical consumer lifestyle has become digital, and guests are starting to expect that what they can get at home, they can and should get in a hotel.

Contactless Service

In-Room We Trust

Investing in guest trust initiatives has become more of a priority. The implementation of technologies under this trend will add to the concept of a “new normal.”

Digital Sustainability

Designing With the Future in Mind

Increased stakeholder concern, shift in consumer preferences, and extreme variability in weather patterns has led to the implementation of technologies in this trend.

Wow! Guest Experiences

Exceeding Guest Expectations

As guests become increasingly tech-savvy, hotels must consider the unexpected – emerging technology that replaces or remanufactures existing furniture.

Room-as-a-Platform: Four Driving Trends

These tech trends and their corresponding technologies can empower a Room-as-a-Platform strategy by embracing elements of a digital ecosystem and a marketing platform. Our Info-Tech Pulse scores can help hoteliers evaluate the trends against their priorities.

The image shows a rendering of a hotel room. Elements in the room are labelled with numbers, which correspond to the numbered list transcribed below.

The INFO-TECH PULSE SCORE represents the weighted impact across two sets of criteria:

  1. Trends Radar
  2. Business Capability Map

The higher the pulse out of 100, the more available, applicable, and impactful the trend is to the industry.

Consumer Adaptive

Pulse Score: 69/100

Adjusting services to in-home experiences

  1. Voice Assistants
  2. In-Room Tablet
  3. IPTV Display
  4. Streaming Device
  5. Wireless Charging Station

Contactless Service

Pulse Score: 71/100

In-room we trust

  1. Electronic Do Not Disturb
  2. Keyless Door Locks
  3. Fitness Mirrors

Digital Sustainability

Pulse Score: 63/100

Designing with the future in mind

  1. Lighting Control
  2. Thermostat
  3. Smart Curtains
  4. Occupancy Sensors
  5. Digital Showers
  6. Low-Voltage PoE

Wow! Guest Experiences

Pulse Scoe:46/100

Exceeding guest expectations

  1. Smart Mirror
  2. Wine by the Glass
  3. Smart Beds
  4. Room Service Robots
  5. Digital Art

The room-as-a-platform’s trends and technologies are not mutually exclusive

Technologies can fall in multiple buckets, which means that they can be more available, applicable, and impactful for the hotel than originally intended.

Note: Info-Tech Pulse scores do not reflect the mutual exclusivity of their trend’s technologies.

Consumer Adaptive Contactless Service Digital Sustainability Wow! Guest Experiences

Voice Assistant

In-Room Tablet

IPTV Streaming

Streaming Device
Wireless Charging

Smart Mirror

Wine by the Glass
Smart Bed
Room Service Robot
Digital Art
Electronic Do Not Disturb
Keyless Door Lock

Fitness Mirror

Lighting Control
Thermostat Control
Smart Curtains
Occupancy Sensors
Digital Shower
PoE Low Voltage

Understand the priorities of each stakeholder to gain support

Encompass the business, operational, and technical feasibility and impact into your rationale.

Owner/Franchise/Management Leaders

  • Focused on understanding business imperatives of technology and seeking areas of opportunity that are deemed necessary or provide crucial impacts to the business holistically.

Head of Hotel Departments

  • Desire to understand the importance of the technology specifically for their own departmental function and how it could potentially eliminate pain points and boost productivity.

IT Leadership and Department

  • Focused on identifying technical requirements and considerations when adopting technology solutions with the business’s context at the top of mind.

Who will be impacted?

Where you should gain support for a solution and how it impacts the stakeholder

Owner/Franchise (Impacts)

Business Growth, Brand Impact, Revenue, Sustainability, Cost Savings

General Manager (Impacts)

Guest Value, Cost Savings, Labor & Productivity Savings

Engineering (Impacts)

Heat, Light & Power; Repairs & Maintenance; Productivity Savings

Housekeeping (Impacts)

Guest Value, Labor & Productivity Savings

Guest Services (Impacts)

Guest Value, Labor & Productivity Savings

Marketing (Impacts)

Guest Value, Brand Impact, Revenue

This legend appears throughout the trends report to demonstrate where your hotel should gain support for each respective trend.

Impacts

Does not impact

Use Info-Tech’s methodology to identify, prioritize, and gain support for a room-as-a-platform initiative

1. Identify: Trends Report Analysis

As a methodology, strategic foresight flows from identifying signals to clustering the signals together to form trends and uncover what is driving the trends to determine which strategic initiatives are most likely to lead to success on an industry level.

2. Prioritize: Technology Shortlisting

Further customize the scores to your hotel by tailoring the generalized weightings on an organization-specific level and determining the relevancy and timing to your hotel. By doing so, your hotel can determine which trend and technology to prioritize for your room-as-a-platform initiative.

3. Persuade: Minimum Viable Business Case

After establishing what trend and technology to prioritize, develop a minimum viable business case with the help of the trends report elements to make the case for stakeholders.

ROOM-AS-A-PLATFORM Guiding principles

#1 Don’t forget the basics of design

Functionality: Consider the infamous electrical outlet, always in the wrong part of the room away from where it’s needed most – a desk, mirror, or bed. In many cases, hotel room designs and technologies are poorly thought out. When leveraging room-as-a-platform technology, there needs to be a standard of functionality: Technology needs to be in the right place for the right time and easy for the guest to operate. For example, implement room controls by the bed rather than on a distant wall.

Branding: Your hotel should connect the guest experience with the brand by using your logo or through loyalty programs. But you need to ensure you’re not overrepresenting the brand, which can overcomplicate the encounter and lead to a messy, negative guest experience. When implementing technology, ensure you balance your brand logo with user experience (UX).

#2 Automation means personalization

The key to leveraging technology is not the implementation but how you strategize its use. We want to create convenience and flexibility for customers, but any industry can do that. What makes the hotel industry different is hospitality, and hospitality requires hyper-personalization. Ensure that your hotel is leveraging the meaningful data provided by the technology to offer a personal experience for a guest during all aspects of their stay. For example, it’s one thing to implement IPTV, lighting controls, and a voice assistant, but it’s another thing to use these technologies to develop a room arrival experience: favorite music playing, television turned on with the guest’s name appearing on the screen, and lighting to set the mood.

#3 IT/OT hand-off

For the hotel industry, the role of IT is to select and implement the solution. Once it’s implemented, the responsibility of the solution is mostly transferred to departments of the hotel such as Front Desk, Engineering, and Housekeeping. The concept of the IT/OT hand-off is that knowledge transfer needs to happen for the support staff. They need education so they understand how to fix technical issues and awareness that these solutions will be handed off as operational technology and will no longer be the IT department’s responsibility.

INFO-TECH PULSE Criteria and weighting factors

Our Info-Tech Pulse scores can help hoteliers evaluate the trends against their priorities. The higher the pulse out of 100, the more available, applicable, and impactful the trend is to the industry. Info-Tech Pulse scores represent each trend’s weighted impact across two sets of criteria:

1. Trends Radar Criteria
Business Growth Drives sustainable growth, diversifies methods of generating revenue, and increases the business market reach.
Risk & Resilience Mitigates and withstands rapid changes across the IT landscape, secures guest information while protecting brand assets, and easily integrates with current technologies, projects, and strategies.
Operational Excellence Provides transparency in the flow of value to the guest, empowers associates and promotes teamwork, and improves responsiveness in problem solving.
Guest Value Surprises and delights associates and guests, connects associates with guests on a personal level, and focuses on enhancing efficiency and convenience.
Brand Impact Enables first-to-market or unique market positioning and assists in accomplishing strategic priorities.
Sustainability Strengthens corporate social responsibility and improves energy management.
2. Business Capability Map Criteria
Competitive Advantage Focusing on these capabilities will deliver differentiated end-customer experiences.
Cost Advantage Focusing on these capabilities will help the organization derive operational efficiencies.

Criteria Weighting

17% Sustainability

17% Brand Impact

17% Guest Value

17% Operational Excellence

17% Risk & Resilience

17% Business Growth

Trends Radar

50%/50%

Business Capability Map

50% - Competitive Advantage

50% - Cost Advantage

Developing the trends radar

Develop a holistic cross-industry view of trends

Moving from horizon scanning to action requires an evaluation process to determine which trends can lead to growth opportunities. Before implementing trend technologies, you need a holistic understanding of how they will impact hotels on an industry level. Info-Tech evaluated the trend opportunities through a set of hospital drivers:

  • Business Growth
  • Guest Value
  • Risk & Resilience
  • Brand Impact
  • Operational Excellence
  • Sustainability

Once an organization has identified a trend that warrants exploration, it is valuable to understand the underlying forces that are driving the trend in order to effectively assess its potential impact. Drivers are fundamental to building plausible scenarios that could arise from adopting a given trend. These value drivers are used to understand what is or is not driving a particular trend. This is achieved by identifying the value drivers for each trend as weak, medium, strong, or superior.

The hospitality value drivers

Guest Value

  • Surprises and delights associates and guests
  • Connects associates with guests on a personal level
  • Focuses on enhancing efficiency and convenience

Brand Impact

  • Enables first-to-market or unique market positioning
  • Assists in accomplishing strategic priorities

Sustainability

  • Strengthens corporate social responsibility
  • Improves energy management for the organization

Operational Excellence

  • Provides transparency in the flow of value to the guest
  • Empowers associates and promotes teamwork
  • Improves responsiveness in problem solving

Risk & Resilience

  • Mitigates and withstands rapid changes across the IT landscape
  • Secures guest information while protecting brand assets
  • Easily integrates with current technologies, projects, and strategies

Business Growth

  • Drives sustainable growth
  • Diversifies methods of generating revenue
  • Increases the business market reach

How does each room-as-a-platform trend measure against the hospitality value drivers?

Hospitality Value Drivers
Consumer Adaptive Contactless Service Digital Sustainability Wow! Guest Experiences
Business Growth 3 2 2 2
Risk & Resilience 1 1 2 1

Operational Excellence

3 3 2 1
Guest Value 3 3 3 4
Brand Impact 1 2 3 3
Sustainability 2 2 4 1

1 - Weak

2 - Medium

3 - Strong

4 - Superior

Analyzing the impact of business capabilities

Develop a holistic cross-industry view of trends

Moving from horizon scanning to action requires an evaluation process to determine which trends can lead to growth opportunities. Before implementing trend technologies, you need a holistic understanding of how they will impact hotels on an industry level.

Info-Tech evaluated the trend opportunities through an additional set of advantage-creating criteria:

  • Competitive Advantage Creators
    • Focusing on these capabilities will deliver differentiated end-customer experiences.
  • Cost Advantage Creators
    • Focusing on these capabilities will help the organization derive operational efficiencies.

These advantage creators are used to understand how impactful a trend is for business alignment and whether IT should be making investments to help the business enhance its capabilities through the implementation of this technology. This is achieved by identifying the number of competitive and cost advantage creators for each trend in the hotel business capability map.

The business capability map

  • A business capability defines what a business does to enable value creation.
  • A business capability map demonstrates a primary view of all these capabilities and provides details to identify specific areas of the business for further assessment.
  • The hotel industry reference architecture on the right demonstrates the business capabilities that are impacted by all four trends on a competitive and cost advantage scale, which has a role in how each trend is scored.

Leverage Info-Tech Resources

Demonstrate the value of IT’s role in supporting your hotel’s capabilities and assess your initiatives and priorities.

Hotel Industry Reference Architecture

Integrated Casino Industry Reference Architecture

The image is an example of a business capability map, showing business capabilities that are impacted by trends.

Findings: Business capabilities that are impacted by all trends

How does each room-as-a-platform trend measure against the business capability map?

Trends Competitive Advantage Cost Advantage
Total Business Capabilities Affected 25 7
Consumer Adaptive 20 6
Contactless Service 22 6
Digital Sustainability 13 4
Wow! Guest Experiences 15 1

This table illustrates the count of the capabilities that are impacted by the competitive and cost advantage criteria.

Business Capability Map
Consumer Adaptive Contactless Service Digital Sustainability Wow! Guest Experiences
Competitive Advantage 3 3 2 2
Cost Advantage 3 3 2 1

1 - Weak

2 - Medium

3 - Strong

4 - Superior

This table presents methodically calculated Harvey Balls computed from the results of the above table by dividing each trend’s advantage score by the total capabilities impacted.

What’s a trend for other hotels may not be a trend for yours

The trends chosen and the results of the scores are generalized to all hotels. Remember that every organization is different, with varying initiatives, priorities, and funding challenges.

Bear in mind the various hotel classifications your hotel falls under:

Service Levels:

  • Luxury
  • Upper Upscale
  • Upscale
  • Upper Midscale
  • Midscale
  • Economy

Ownership

  • Chain Hotel
  • Management Contract Hotel
  • Parent Company–Owned Hotel
  • Franchised Hotel
  • Independent Hotel
  • Independent Chain

(E Travel Week, 2019. Cornell Center for Hospitality Research, 2018.)

Amenity Proportion of Expected Use Proportion of Actual Use Percentage Difference
Concierge .31 .42 +35%
Upscale .07 .07 0%
Upper Upscale .28 .41 +46%

Luxury

.41 .53 +29%
Minibar .11 .08 -27%

Upscale

.05 .00 -100%
Upper Upscale .08 .06 -25%
Luxury .21 .14 -33%
TV .91 .85 -7%
Upscale .93 .84 -10%
Upper Upscale .68

.37

-46%
Luxury .64 .41 -36%

Illustrative Example: Amenity usage can differ depending on hotel classification

Expedia 5-Star Rating Guidelines

Illustrative Example: Guestroom initiatives can differ depending on the hotel’s priorities, such as gaining a five-star rating.

“Amenities typically include gourmet dining, luxury spas, and full-service health clubs with lavish locker rooms. Staff members are generally polished, anticipate guest needs, and consistently address guests by name. Features may include upgraded check-in, a welcome amenity, and butler service on all or select floors. Guestroom decor is often elegant and may include coordinated fabrics on drapes, chairs, headboards, and duvets. Electronic features sometimes include bedside controls for drapes, lighting, and surround-sound. Oversized bathrooms are often clad in marble, with premium, custom-built features, dual-sink vanities, enclosed toilets, premium spa-brand toiletries, and fresh flowers or live plants. Five-star resorts typically offer signature golf courses, tennis centers with choice of playing surfaces, health clubs with personal trainers, luxurious spas, cultural activities, and children's day camps. In Asia, both hotels and resorts often feature some of these amenities.” (Expedia, n.d.)

AAA Diamond Rating Guidelines

Illustrative Example: Guestroom initiatives can differ depending on the hotel’s priorities, such as gaining a diamond rating.

Diamond Approved Three Diamond Four Diamond Five Diamond
Television Type & Placement
  • 32-inch flat screen
  • Two additional features i.e. all-in-one multimedia hub, HD channels, free/pay movie channels, digital art/property information, streaming capability, etc.
  • 40-inch flat screen
  • Three additional features i.e. all-in-one multimedia hub, HD channels, free/pay movie channels, digital art/property information, streaming capability, etc.
  • 43-inch flat screen
  • Four additional features i.e. all-in-one multimedia hub, HD channels, free/pay movie channels, digital art/property information, streaming capability, etc.
  • >43-inch flat screen
  • Five additional features i.e. all-in-one multimedia hub, HD channels, free/pay movie channels, digital art/property information, streaming capability, etc.
Ventilation
  • Heat and air conditioning available on demand
  • Easily accessible controls
  • Modern and quiet
  • Digital thermostat on wall
  • Central system
  • Digital thermostat on wall
  • Quiet and inconspicuous form and function
  • Digital thermostat on wall
Illumination
  • Good level of overall illumination
  • Good level of overall illumination
  • Superior functionality provides for ambience options i.e. dimmers, point lighting, multiple switches, remote control
  • Superior functionality provides for ambience options i.e. dimmers, point lighting, multiple switches, remote control

Additional Guest Impressions & Features Considered

  • Technology
  • Internet

(AAA, 2021.)

Overarching risks: Security and infrastructure

Industry trends are changing how hotels must develop or renovate their current IT infrastructures to make way for technological improvement. Ensure diligence during the integration process.

The implementation of room-as-a-platform technologies will increase the importance of network and security services to the business and, depending on IT’s maturity, could positively or negatively affect business stakeholder and guest satisfaction.

Measure and assess your IT risks first before implementing a new system. Consider analyzing your security and infrastructure maturity and any other functions that will affect the success of your technology.

30% Percentage of hotel CIOs that believe security and privacy are concerns when adopting new technologies

38% Percentage of hotel CIOs that have difficulty integrating technology with legacy systems

(“Lodging Technology Study 2021,” Hospitality Technology, 2021.)

Leverage Info-Tech Resources

Determine your business stakeholder satisfaction.

CIO Business Vision Diagnostic

IT Management & Governance Diagnostic

Service Importance Satisfaction Range
IT Security 5 83% 75%-90%
Service Desk 2 80% 72%-90%
IT Policies 12 78% 68%-89%
Work Orders 8 78% 68%-89%
Network Infrastructure 1 78% 70%-87%
Data Quality 3 76% 65%-86%
Devices 6 76% 66%-86%
Business Applications 4 76% 65%-85%
Projects 10 74% 62%-85%
Requirements Gathering 13 73% 63%-83%
Analytical Capability 9 73% 63%-83%
IT Innovation Leadership 11 72% 57%-84%
Client-Facing Technology 7 69% 59%-79%

Data Extract: Info-Tech’s Gaming & Hospitality IT Staffing Benchmarking Report illustrates the current importance and satisfaction metrics for security and infrastructure functions according to business stakeholders.

Overarching risks: Viability and IT maturity

Viability for these room-as-a-platform trends and technologies is highly dependent on your hotel’s business model and the architectural integrity of the building and its guestrooms.

  • Hotel business model: A hotel’s business model may hinder ROI maximization if there are elements that dramatically limit what the hotel can do. For example, condo hotels will not be able to easily implement technology solutions in these residential areas/rooms, and therefore, the ROI that could have been realized for the entire building will only be applicable to the rooms where the solution was implemented.
  • Architectural integrity: Especially when dealing with an existing building that must be retrofitted, architectural integrity can be a risk. An organization that wants to avoid certain obstacles might run into other unexpected obstacles. For example, if your hotel wants to include keyless door locks without having to replace the doors, there is a chance of running into issues that may be just as costly as replacing the doors themselves.

Measure and assess your IT maturity because what may seem like a simple project could be more complex than expected. Your organization must understand the possible uncertainties and have substantial processes in place to remain resilient to potential risks.

Consider the Gaming and Hospitality’s IT Management & Governance Benchmarking Framework, which demonstrates the struggles of the industry that may have a deep impact on the quality, outcome, and viability of a room-as-a-platform initiative, specifically highlighting:

  • Quality Management: Define and communicate quality requirements in all processes, procedures, and business outcomes.
  • Organizational Change Management: Implement or optimize the organization’s capabilities for managing the impact of new business processes and new IT systems.
  • Release Management: Successfully implement new IT solutions and services in line with the agreed-on expectations and outcomes.

The image is a framework comprised of blocks in a grid, each representing one component of the framework. Three are circled: Quality Management; Organizational Change Management, and Release Management.

Data Extract: Info-Tech’s Gaming & Hospitality IT Management & Governance Benchmarking Report illustrates the importance and effectiveness metrics for core IT processes.

How to read this trends report

Description Each trend is introduced with a description and statistics, highlighting its growth and impact
Technology Signals A signal of technological change (consumer, competitive, or otherwise) that indicates a divergence from the status quo
Hospitality Value Drivers An analysis of the 360-degree view of value drivers that will be impacted – both positively and negatively – upon the implementation of this trend
Business Capability Map An analysis of the 360-degree view of the business capabilities that will be positively impacted, based on cost advantage and competitive advantage weightings, upon the implementation of this trend
Benefits A summary of benefits that could be achieved from a business and human perspective through the successful adoption of these technologies
Risks A summary of risks and critical unknowns that could occur from a business and human perspective through the adoption of these technologies
ROI Metrics Calculated methods to measure benefits realized for the costs incurred for each respective technology
Case Study A real-life illustrative example demonstrating hoteliers’ implementation and usage of each trend
Member Resources & Recommendations Info-Tech’s recommendation on how to move forward when embracing these trends and a list of materials that will assist your organization with understanding and adopting these technologies

ROI metric overview

The report provides ways to measure the return on interest for each trend, moving past occupancy rates and RevPAR and instead focusing on more detailed measurement methods.

A (Technology) + B (Impact) = C (P&L/Efficiency Line Items)

Profit & loss (P&L) line items to consider:

Top Line

  • Room Revenue
  • Food & Beverage
    • Breakfast, Bar, Restaurant, Room Service
  • Other Departmental Revenue
    • Events, Activities, Spa, Gift Shop, Parking

Costs

  • Operational Expenses
    • Rooms: Payroll, Cleaning, Laundry
    • Food & Beverage: F&B cost, Payroll, Cleaning, Laundry
    • Other Departments: Purchasing Costs, Payroll
  • Undistributed Costs
    • General and Administrative
    • Heat, Light & Power (Utility)
    • Repairs & Maintenance

Efficiency line items:

  • Productivity
  • Guest Satisfaction
Objective ROI Metric Definition ROI Measurement/Method to Calculate
To reduce costs Labor Cost %: Analyze labor management to maximize efficiency of labor force Labor Cost % = (Total Labor Costs / Gross Sales) x 100
Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR): Room profitability – considers both fixed and variable expenses CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold
To increase revenue Total Revenue per Available Room (TRevPAR): Includes revenue beyond booked rooms, e.g. spa TRevPAR = Total Net Revenue / Number of Available Rooms
To increase productivity Hours per Room Occupied: Analyze number of hours it takes to service guests and their rooms Hours per Room Occupied = Hours Worked / Number of Rooms Sold
To increase guest satisfaction Net Promoter Score: Guests rate likelihood to recommend the hotel Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score

Measurements illustrated throughout the trend report

Bibliography

ALICE. “New Research Finds a Majority of Hotel Guests Rank Unfriendly Staff as Most Frustrating Part of Their Stay.” Hospitality Net, 8 Feb. 2019. Web.

ALICE. “New Research Shows 81 Percent of Consumers Want Experience Recommendations from Their Hotels.” Hospitality Net, 23 Apr. 2019. Web.

Choudhary, Vijay. “The Hospitality Industry CIO Challenge and Opportunity: Making his Conventional Hotel to an ‘Intelligent Tech-Responsive Hotel.’” APAC CIO Outlook, n.d. Web.

“Classification of Hotels.” E Travel Week, 5 Sept. 2019. Web.

Dean, Grace. “A third of former hospitality workers won't return to the industry during the labor shortage because they want higher pay, better benefits, and a new work environment.” Business Insider, 8 July 2021. Web.

Delporte, Laurent. “Digital Technology at the Mandarin Oriental.” Delporte Hospitality, 3 Sept. 2018. Web.

Dev, Chekitan. “What Do Hotel Guests Really Want?” Cornell Center for Hospitality Research, Sept. 2018. Web.

Escobar, Michal. “Wyndham CEO Talks Labor, Loyalty and Gen X During Q2 2021 Earnings Call.” Hospitality Technology, 8 May 2021. Web.

Heymann, Mark. “How Hospitality Can Leverage Tech To Alleviate Staffing Challenges.” Forbes, 1 June 2021. Web.

“Hotel Requirements & Diamond Guidelines.” AAA, CAA Quebec, 2002. Web.

Idrac, Laurent. “The CIO in 2021.” Hospitality Upgrade, 2021. Web.

“Joblist Survey Finds 50% of Former Hospitality Workers Refuse to Return to the Industry.” Hospitality Technology, 7 Aug. 2021. Web.

Kelly, Sally. “The Hospitality Upgrade Annual Investment Survey Results – 2021.” Hospitality Upgrade, 20 April 2021. Web.

“Lodging Technology Study 2021.” Hospitality Technology, 2021. Web.

“Marriot International 2020 Annual Report.” Marriott International, 2021. Web.

Popken, Ben. “There are now more jobs available than before the pandemic. So why aren’t people signing up?” NBC News, 9 April 2021. Web.

“Smart Hotel Technology Guide 2019.” Singapore Hotel Association, 2019. Web.

Smith, Tovia. “Hotels And Restaurants That Survived Pandemic Face New Challenge: Staffing Shortages.” NPR, 5 May 2021. Web.

“Star Ratings (Hotel Class).” Expedia, n.d. Web.

Starkov, Max. “Hospitality Digital Technology: Challenges, Priorities and Buzzwords.” Hotel Technology News, 2019. Web.

Zhou, Zongqing. “4 Detailed Steps Hotels Can Take Now to Regain Guest Trust.” Hospitality Technology, 29 April 2020. Web.

STRATEGIC FORESIGHT TREND 1: Consumer Adaptive

Adjusting Services to In-Home Experiences

Info-Tech Pulse: 69

Over time, the typical consumer lifestyle has become digital. Consumers’ digital dependence has been increasing for quite some time, with the pandemic shifting behaviours and preferences even further. Chances are you were at home for weeks or even months during the pandemic. During this time, consumers looked to devices to get them through lockdowns and restrictions, easing their boredom and giving access to control and convenience at home.

This trend focuses on technologies that are expected to be found in every home, and its emergence has shifted hotel guest expectations. Before, the hotel used to be a unique experience, providing guests with amenities that they couldn’t get at home. Today, this concept has been reversed – devices are now better at home than they are in hotels.

Outdated technology sends a message about a hotel because consumers desire a high level of technological familiarity. With disruption and competition from the Airbnb industry, hotels must realize the danger that antiquity can pose to the hotel industry. One way to compete with the Airbnb industry is through a subcompetitive room experience that a consumer adaptive initiative can accomplish, leveraging these technologies to adjust services to in-home preferences and eliminate a potential decision barrier for consumers.

“Consumers seek lodging experiences that feature a level of comfort that’s close to their home lives.” – ALICE

(“New Research Shows 81%...” Hospitality Net, 2019.)

46% - Percentage of Americans that use a digital voice assistant (Pew Research Center, 2017)

60% - Percentage of TV viewing that is nonlinear programming in US broadband households (Parks Associates, 2021)

$37.2B - The predicted worth of the wireless charging market by 2022, which is increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 44.7% (Allied Market Research, 2017)

What are Canadians using their smart tech to do?

31% - Control Other Devices

52% - Access Information

37% - Get Reminders

66% - Stream Music

31% - Communicate

40% - Access Entertainment

(PwC, 2019)

CONSUMER ADAPTIVE Technology Signals

Signals of technological change (consumer, competitive, or otherwise) that indicate a divergence from the status quo:

BEFORE AFTER

Cable TV, Connectivity Panel

Guest watches cable TV for entertainment or plugs their own casting device into the connectivity panel to cast their own content. Similarly, the guest must use the panel to plug in their own cable to charge their mobile device.

IPTV Streaming and Streaming Device

Guest can use either the IPTV or streaming device included by the hotel so they can watch their own content.

Wireless Charging Station

Guest uses the hotel-provided wireless charging station to charge their mobile device.

Telephone

Guest makes a request (For example, in-room dining and housekeeping services) through the in-room telephone.

Voice Assistant & In-Room Tablet

Guest can make requests through the voice assistant or the in-room tablet. Guest can adjust energy controls through the voice assistant or the in-room tablet. Guest can ask hotel-related questions and receive information through the voice assistant or the in-room tablet.

Manual Energy Control

Guest uses the switches and wall controls to make lighting and HVAC adjustments.

Printed Material

Hotel prints in-room guidebook, room service menu, etc., for the guestroom.

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TREND IN THE GUESTROOM?

Hospitality Drivers

Business Growth

The primary role of being consumer adaptive is not to increase revenue but to serve a wider market by adapting to the preferences that digital consumers are adopting. Additionally, hotels that take on the consumer adaptive initiative can realize the sales of extra services such as room service, late checkout, and so on by marketing these services through these technologies. Also, hotels can realize optimal cost savings by reducing printing costs and cable fees. By doing so, hotels can reinvest and create value elsewhere to further grow the business.

Risk & Resilience

The presence of many of these technologies is more frequent and less disruptive to the guest experience, but it is still a future-looking approach as these technologies aren’t going away any time soon. Implementing this technology, however, will likely be met with privacy concerns that must be addressed with transparency.

Operational Excellence

The adoption of this trend can bring operational efficiency since these tools carry integrative and analytical capabilities. This can support staff in service improvements by enabling the hotel to understand what the guests are looking for based on what they request from the solution. It can also support response time improvements by enabling staff to easily manage streamlined tasks and team assignments. In the end, its adoption can boost and maximize productivity for the team.

Business Growth - 3

Risk & Resilience - 1

Operational Excellence - 3

Guest Value - 3

Brand Impact - 1

Sustainability - 2

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TREND IN THE GUESTROOM?

Hospitality Drivers

Guest Value

Adopting this trend simply meets expectations since many guests already have these smart technologies at home. However, its ability to connect technologies in-room as well as to other aspects of the hotel, such as the front desk, housekeeping, and guest services, provides convenience and flexibility, which are fairly new concepts in the hotel industry.

Brand Impact

Eventually, these technologies will become hospitality staples, so they will not differentiate the brand. They can, however, strengthen the brand’s identity through interface customization and personalization.

Sustainability

This trend does not particularly drive sustainability, but it can add to sustainable practices by removing printed material and going paperless. The hotel can be publicized as one that is contributing to society and is making the most of its corporate social responsibility.

Business Growth - 3

Risk & Resilience - 1

Operational Excellence - 3

Guest Value - 3

Brand Impact - 1

Sustainability - 2

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TREND IN THE GUESTROOM?

Business Capability Map

The image is a business capability map, with the categories Attract Guests, Service Guests, and Retain Guests across the top and Defining Capabilities; Shared Capabilities; and Enabling Capabilities along the left-hand side. The cost advantage creators are highlighted in a mid-colored blue, and competitive advantage creators are highlighted in dark blue.

Legend:

Mid-Blue - COST ADVANTAGE CREATORS

Dark Blue - COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE CREATORS

Competitive Advantage - 3

Cost Advantage - 3

CONSUMER ADAPTIVE

Benefits

The (Consumer) Need for Speed

The extent to which the modern consumer expects digital experiences is increasing alongside the pace of business. The organization must cater to these expectations to remain competitive. The hotel industry can keep up with this pace and meet guest expectations by implementing consumer adaptive technologies.

Guest Experience

Although guests expect these technologies, they can still provide delight and satisfaction, especially in comparison to an experience without these technologies. In this case, guests do not have to spend an average of 12 to 15 minutes trying to understand how to use devices like the TV, lights, and others. (Interview with David Berger) Guests can easily access information and make requests without disruption, just as they would at home.

Labor Adaptive

Consumer adaptive is self-explanatory; it’s to adapt to consumer preferences. But there’s more than what meets the eye for these technologies. The hospitality industry has seen a labor shortage for quite some time now. What makes this trend’s technologies so labor adaptive is that they can streamline guest requests and staff assignments.

CONSUMER ADAPTIVE

Risks & Uncertainties

Privacy & Security

Personalization requires data collection, which consumers are comfortable doing at home at their own risk. This may not easily transmit to a hotel experience. Although hotels do not always use this data, they still must understand guest perceptions. Guests are concerned with how and when the hotel plans to use the information collected by the device.

Alternatives, Not Substitutes

Some guests may argue consumer adaptive means better service, while others will argue it’s a ruined experience. Why? Some guests still like staff interaction. If guests are dealing solely with technology throughout their stay, it will pose an experiential problem. In this case, hotels must ensure that they can still provide staff interactions, so technology is an alternative rather than a substitute.

Desired Contextual Experience

Hotels must also consider that what works for others may not work for their own organization. For example, Viceroy Hotel experiences a great return with Volara’s voice assistant (Hospitality Technology, 2020), while Best Western experiences the opposite (Travel Weekly, 2019). The varied return of certain technologies may be due to hotel classification, or it may be due to the hotel’s lack of education. Either way, the hotel must do its due diligence in understanding what will work best for the hotel and how they will use the device in a way that will positively impact both the organization and its guests.

(Hospitality Technology, 2020. Travel Weekly, 2019.)

CONSUMER ADAPTIVE

ROI

Calculated methods to measure benefits realized for the costs incurred for each respective technology:

Technology Impact(s) P&L/Efficiency Line Item ROI Metrics ROI Measurement
Voice Assistants For a 250-room property, it saves 7 hours a day = 1 FTE Labor Cost Labor Cost Percentage Labor Cost % = (Total Labor Costs / Gross Sales) x 100
Guest convenience, as it is used to make requests, ask information, etc. Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score
Removes in-room guidebooks, menus, and other printed material. Printing Costs Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR) CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold
Sale of extra services Revenue, Food & Beverage Revenue, Other Departmental Revenue Total Revenue per Available Room (TRevPAR) TRevPAR = Total Net Revenue / Number of Available Rooms
In-Room Tablets Response time improvement as much as 50% Productivity Hours per Room Occupied Hours per Room Occupied = Hours worked / Number of Rooms Sold
Guest convenience, as it is used to make requests, ask information, etc. Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score
Sale of extra services, with some properties reporting over 10% growth in RevPAR Revenue, Food & Beverage Revenue, Other Departmental Revenue Total Revenue per Available Room (TRevPAR) TRevPAR = Total Net Revenue / Number of Available Rooms
Removes in-room guidebooks, menus, and other printed material. Printing Costs Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR) CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold

CONSUMER ADAPTIVE

ROI (Continued)

Calculated methods to measure benefits realized for the costs incurred for each respective technology:

Technology Impact(s) P&L/Efficiency Line Item ROI Metrics ROI Measurement
Streaming Device Saves 86% a month from standard cable costs Licensing Costs Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR) CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold
Guest control since they can stream their own content Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score
IPTV Streaming Removes in-room guidebooks, menus, and other printed material. Printing Costs Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR) CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold
Guest control since they can stream their own content Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score
Sale of extra services Revenue, Food & Beverage Revenue, Other Departmental Revenue Total Revenue per Available Room (TRevPAR) TRevPAR = Total Net Revenue / Number of Available Rooms
Saves 86% a month from standard cable costs Licensing Costs Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR) CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold
Wireless Charging Station Guest convenience since they won’t have to use universal adapters or connectivity panels Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score

CONSUMER ADAPTIVE

Case Study

Viceroy Hotels & Resorts – Volara Voice Assistant

Challenge

In 2020, Darren Clark, the VP of Technology for Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, saw the new hotel experience gearing up to be home-like and smart-centric. Clark did his research: eMarketer predicted that 118 million people will rely on voice assistants in 2020, with the number growing to 123 million by 2021. Viceroy Hotels wanted to make the guest experience feel like a natural extension of how their guests operate daily, so incorporating a voice assistant technology solution just made sense.

Solution

To ensure a successful implementation, Clark and the team did their due diligence by taking part in a vendor selection process with guest privacy in mind. According to Clark, Volara was the vendor of choice that met their complex technical specifications while simultaneously adhering to guest privacy obligations, “It already had integrations to more than 40 hotel technologies, including IPTV, room controls, and work order-management. … Volara ensures that recordings of guests are never associated with their personally identifiable information. They make sure that all recordings of guests are deleted within 24 hours – a distinct difference from the management of user recordings in the consumer environment.” After selecting the vendor, the hotel implemented a guest education process and trained the hotel staff on how to respond to guest questions.

Results

After Volara’s implementation, Viceroy Hotel saw positive guest feedback reflected in online reviews and post-stay surveys. One TripAdvisor review called their stay at Viceroy Los Cabos “A trip to the Future,” mentioning an Alexa that can be paired with their own device. According to Clark, they have seen an increase in hotel revenues, reduction in labor costs, and efficient, streamlined operations because of its integration. The solution was so successful on the front end that they are now brainstorming its use for back-of-house applications such as enabling room status changes and facilitating employee-to-employee communications.

(Hospitality Technology, 2020.)

CONSUMER ADAPTIVE

Recommendations

Initiatives

Given the increased presence of digital devices at home, implementing this technology will allow the hotel industry to be on par with in-home technologies.

To realize the most optimal return on a consumer adaptive program, consider the following initiatives:

  • Understand guest perceptions when it comes to privacy and how your hotel will tackle this risk.
  • Determine how your hotel will track the devices or design their implementation to ensure they’re not taken off the premises.
  • Do your due diligence in understanding what will work best for the hotel and how you will use the devices in a way that will positively impact both the organization and its guests.
  • Ensure that your hotel offers alternative methods of interaction rather than using consumer adaptive technologies as a substitute.

Where to Seek Support

Impacts:

Owner/Franchise

General Manager

Engineering

Housekeeping

Guest Services

Marketing

Info-Tech Resources

Why Hospitality CIOs Should Care About the Connected Smart Home

Hospitality Communications Market Trends & Buyer’s Guide

Vendor Landscape: In-Room Tablets

Vendor Landscape: In-Room Entertainment

Bibliography

ALICE. “Hotels’ Digital Divide.” ALICE, 2019. Web.

ALICE. “New Research Shows 81 Percent of Consumers Want Experience Recommendations from Their Hotels.” Hospitality Net, 23 April 2019. Web.

Allied Market Research. “Wireless Charging Market to Reach $37.2 Billion, Globally, by 2022.” PR Newswire, 2 Feb. 2017. Web.

Berger, David. “How Hoteliers Measure the ROI of Voice-Activated Digital Assistants” Hotel Technology News, 27 Sept. 2021. Web.

Butterworth, Tim. “Crave Interactive to Install In-room Tablets at the New EXChange Hotel Vancouver.” PRWeb, 10 July 2018. Web.

Clark, Darren. “A Piece of Advice: Voice is Here to Stay, so Embrace it.” Hospitality Technology, 2 Nov. 2020. Web.

“Digital Service Solutions for Hospitality.” Crave Interactive, n.d. Web.

“Google + Volara Enable Voice Based Contactless Guest Engagement and Touchless Room Controls.” Hospitality Technology, 27 Aug. 2020. Web.

i-Scoop and Jean Commeignes. “Light and room control and the Internet of Things: an expert look.” i-Scoop, n.d. Web.

Ion, Florence. “Google's Nest Hub Is Making Its Way Into Your Hotel Room.” Gizmodo, 26 April 2021. Web.

Jelski, Christina. “Amazon’s Alexa can be an unwelcome hotel roommate.” Travel Weekly, 19 Feb. 2019. Web.

“Nearly half of Americans use digital voice assistants, mostly on their smartphones.” Pew Research Center, 12 Dec. 2017. Web.

Parks Association. “60% of Pay-TV Subscribers are Interested in Streaming Movies and TV Shows From an Online Video Service as Part of Their Subscription.” PR Newswire, 3 Feb. 2021. Web.

“The rise of voice-enabled tech.” PwC, 2019. Web.

“Smart IPTV.” Zafiro, n.d. Web.

Parker, Jeffrey. “Alexa Turn On My ROI.” Hospitality Upgrade, 16 April 2019. Web.

STRATEGIC FORESIGHT TREND 2: Contactless Service

In-Room We Trust

Info-Tech Pulse: 71

Since the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 regulations and confidence levels have forced organizations to alter how they operate, pushing health and safety to the forefront of every company’s consciousness.

The lack of travel and fear of contact impacted the hotel industry on both a guest and staff shortage level. Prior to 2020, the industry was already experiencing a labor shortage that worsened when the pandemic hit. Hotels are having to consider how they will balance staff safety and efficiency to reduce dissatisfaction amid a staffing shortage. Likewise for guests, hotels must consider how they will balance guest safety and expectations to reduce dissatisfaction and anxiety levels amid an occupancy shortfall.

Hotels shouldn’t yet look past the pandemic because the world is still adjusting to the virus, tirelessly driving efforts to contain the spread. The most future-forward approach is investing in contactless services as we head into the “new normal.” Hotels want to invest in initiatives to increase guest (and staff) trust, but this means moving past personal protective equipment. Incorporate touchless hotel technologies into the hotel, especially in the guestroom, and realize operational efficiency and satisfaction from all stakeholders.

(Forbes, 2020.)

“Hygiene is the new security.” – Jean-Michel Gathy, Owner of Denniston

80% - Percentage of guests that would download a hotel app that would allow them to check in, check out, and get all information about the hotel as a contactless preference (“Survey: Travelers want contactless hotel experiences,” Hotel Management, 2020)

73% - Percentage of guests that would download and use an app that enables them to open the door of their room as a contactless preference (“Survey: Travelers want contactless hotel experiences,” Hotel Management, 2020)

“While we all cannot wait to get back to ‘normal’ and face-to-face interactions, contactless technologies can enable hotel owners and operators to continue to survive in trying circumstances. But if adopted now with the foundations properly laid, these technologies can continue to deliver value far beyond the pandemic.” – Gabriel Weisz, CEO, Kontactless (Hotel Management, 2021)

(Hotel Management, Aug. 2020. Hotel Management, Feb. 2021)

CONTACTLESS SERVICE

Technology Signals

Signals of technological change (consumer, competitive, or otherwise) that indicate a divergence from the status quo:

Before After

Do Not Disturb Doorhanger

A material touchpoint for the guest and staff. Miscommunication may cause unsavory face-to-face contact.

Electronic Do Not Disturb

Encourages the guest to communicate privacy needs through an app or in-room control, preventing housekeeping disruptions and face-to-face contact.

Room Keycard

Guest waits in line with other guests to check in at the front desk and accepts a reusable (but sanitized) physical keycard.

Keyless Door Lock

Guest avoids the line and the front desk by checking in through a mobile app and uses the app’s digital key to enter the room.

Telephone/Guest Services

Guest uses the in-room telephone or makes face-to-face contact with guest services for informational or service needs.

Voice Assistant

Guest makes requests and asks informative questions solely through voice recognition.

Room Service Attendant

Attendant brings room service order to the guest’s room.

Room Service Robot

Robot brings room service order to the guest’s room.

Manual Controls

Guest customizes their hotel room experience through sanitized (but commonly used) controls including the thermostat, lights, and television remote.

App Controls

Guest customizes their hotel room experience through controls on their personal device, including controls for the thermostat, lights, and television.

Fitness Center

Guest may or may not work out at the fitness center depending on their level of comfort around other guests.

In-Room Fitness Mirror

Guest can avoid the fitness center by working out using the fitness mirror in their room.

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TREND IN THE GUESTROOM?

Hospitality Drivers

Business Growth

The primary role of contactless technology is not to increase revenue but to adapt to guest and staff confidence levels. It is important for the hotel industry to understand the impact of the pandemic on consumers. By investing in guest trust initiatives, the hotel can gain satisfaction and loyalty during this time of uncertainty.

Risk & Resilience

Implementing contactless technology in hotels may bring more security and privacy concerns about guest data that hotels must be prepared to address. However, these technologies also reduce the risks associated with social interactions, replacing previous guest-facing tasks and processes.

Operational Excellence

The adoption of this trend can bring operational efficiency by removing unnecessary guest interactions and freeing up time for hotel staff to focus on other aspects of hospitality. Productivity can be realized when employees are satisfied with the work environment, so it is important for the hotel to consider that reducing guest-facing interactions will increase staff safety and comfort.

Business Growth - 2

Risk & Resilience - 1

Operational Excellence - 3

Guest Value - 3

Brand Impact - 2

Sustainability - 2

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TREND IN THE GUESTROOM?

Hospitality Drivers

Guest Value

The rationale behind implementing this trend is to invest in contactless as a guest trust initiative. These technologies can provide guests with a seamless experience while avoiding risky interactions. Additionally, these solutions can provide convenience by allowing guests to access their rooms faster and give governance through mobile app controls.

Brand Impact

As a guest trust initiative, this trend can demonstrate the hotel’s focus on guest preferences and comfort levels which, in turn, will allow the hotel to achieve a more reputable status. Additionally, this trend’s need for a mobile app will strengthen brand identity and increase guest loyalty because of its customized interface.

Sustainability

This trend does not particularly drive sustainability, but it can add to sustainable practices by removing printed material and going paperless. The hotel can be publicized as one that is contributing to society and is making the most of its corporate social responsibility.

Business Growth - 2

Risk & Resilience - 1

Operational Excellence - 3

Guest Value - 3

Brand Impact - 2

Sustainability - 2

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TREND IN THE GUESTROOM?

Business Capability Map

The image is a business capability map, with the categories Attract Guests, Service Guests, and Retain Guests across the top and Defining Capabilities; Shared Capabilities; and Enabling Capabilities along the left-hand side. The cost advantage creators are highlighted in a mid-colored blue, and competitive advantage creators are highlighted in dark blue.

Competitive Advantage - 3

Cost Advantage - 3

Legend:

Mid-Blue - Cost Advantage Creators

Dark Blue - Competitive Advantage Creators

CONTACTLESS SERVICE

Benefits

Guest Loyalty

The goal of contactless technologies is to reduce guest-facing interactions, and its implementation will accomplish just that. Transparency is key for guest trust initiatives because it shows potential guests that your hotel is trustworthy, increasing the likelihood of retaining loyal guests.

Impact on Labor

The hospitality industry has seen a labor shortage even before the pandemic. The hotel must consider how it can satisfy current and future staff. In terms of COVID-19, employees are looking for health and safety protocols that protect them from risk, but hotels are also looking at how they can be lean in their staffing. Contactless technologies give hotel operations the ability to do more with less staff. For example, an electronic do not disturb software allows housekeeping and management to see the status of a floor from a single screen to see which rooms need service and which rooms wish not to be disturbed. This saves housekeeping from doing floor-to-floor searches, improving productivity.

Seamless Value Stream Journey

A hotel’s objective is to create an optimal and seamless guest experience throughout the guest’s stay, and this can be provided through the implementation of a contactless technology initiative. Its adoption can affect all areas of a guest’s stay on the journey map – before, during, and after their stay – because of its integrative capabilities. For example, a hotel’s app can be connected to a property management system and open the door for guestroom controls, such as booking a room, checking in, controlling guestroom technology, making requests, and checking out. By implementing these solutions, hotels can realize full potential in the guest’s (and staff’s) value stream journey.

CONTACTLESS SERVICE

Risks & Uncertainties

Varied Level of Comfort Means Varied Level of Satisfaction

The pandemic will have reshaped the preferences of many guests looking to book a hotel. For guests that are less comfortable and looking for less interactions, contactless services can provide satisfaction for those guests and improve confidence levels. Guests that are less inclined toward pandemic precautions will not enjoy the protocols taken to reduce guest interactions. This can lead to dissatisfaction among those customer segments.

Alternatives, Not Substitutes

Digital technology is at the forefront, but that does not mean every guest will know how to use it, or more importantly, want to. Consider the requirement for mobile devices. If a digital key is implemented at a hotel, it requires the guest to download the hotel’s app to activate the key. What if they don’t want to download the app? The same can be said inside the room. The guest wants to order room service but needs to download the app to see the menu. What if the guest doesn’t want to download the app? It is pivotal that contactless technologies are alternative methods of communication rather than substitutes.

Cybersecurity

Contactless technology for hotels will likely require the guests’ mobile devices. Because confidential guest information is at stake, hotels must consider their security. Cybersecurity is a big concern in this area, as devices and systems can be potentially hacked to gain sensitive information or cause injury. Hotels will need a formalized security strategy to mitigate this risk.

CONTACTLESS SERVICE

ROI

Calculated methods to measure benefits realized for the costs incurred for each respective technology:

Technology Impact(s) P&L/Efficiency Line Item ROI Metrics ROI Measurement
Electronic Do Not Disturb Reduced printed doorknob hangers in the guestrooms Printing Costs Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR) CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold
Overview status can save time for housekeeping Productivity Hours per Room Occupied Hours per Room Occupied = Hours Worked / Number of Rooms Sold
Avoids unsavory interactions and disruptions Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score
Keyless Door Locks Reduce plastic keycards needed for guestroom access control Printing Costs Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR) CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold
Reduce front desk demand Productivity Hours per Room Occupied Hours per Room Occupied = Hours Worked / Number of Rooms Sold
Guest convenience and comfort through quick access control and reduced contact Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score
In-Room Fitness Mirror Guest convenience and comfort through quick access and reduced contact Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score

CONTACTLESS SERVICE

Case Study

Hotel Trio – Savioke Room Service Robot

Challenge

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the entire hospitality industry was heavily impacted. Hotels were forced to follow social distancing regulations and health and safety protocols and encouraged to invest in guest trust initiatives. Hotel Trio, located Healdsburg, California, had to determine how they could best service guests that were less comfortable with in-person contact and preferred contactless services.

Solution

Luckily for Hotel Trio, they had already implemented Rosé, an automated room service robot that has been working in the hotel since 2018. Rosé uses sensors to travel in the hotel’s elevators and guestroom hallways to deliver towels, food, beverages, etc. Rosé was developed by Savioke, a company that provides robots to the service industry. The rationale behind its initial implementation was to improve the bottom line, save on labor costs, deliver incremental room service revenue, and delight the guests. Rosé checks off all these requirements with the added benefit that room service now becomes contactless for guests.

Results

Rosé was already positively reviewed by Hotel Trio’s guests. During the pandemic, it has become a pivotal necessity. As a robot, Rosé can be programmed to deliver items to guestrooms, and after every delivery, it can be sanitized. Because Rosé is not a human room attendant, it is the safest method to complete these tasks. Scott Satterfield, the general manager of Hotel Trio, stated, “For guests who prefer contactless deliveries, Rosé provides them with peace of mind as she can deliver items to their suite.”

(The Drinks Business, 2020.)

CONTACTLESS SERVICE

Case Study

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group – In-Room Fitness Mirror

Challenge

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are still fearful about exercising with other people in fitness centers and gyms. Victoria Batten, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Langham New York states, “I think that prepandemic, the private, in-room gym was traditionally seen as something typically reserved for VIPs who might request to have equipment set up in the penthouse.” During this time, an in-room workout option has become a more ideal approach that has completely changed what the hotel industry has typically seen. Because of the pandemic, in-room fitness is on the rise.

Solution

In response to customer anxieties, hotels like Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group have deployed in-room fitness mirror systems, called Mirror, at select locations. Mirror is a full-length mirror that is also an interactive digital fitness trainer. It provides guests with on-demand access to live and prerecorded fitness classes and training sessions, with more than 50 different styles available, from kickboxing to dance cardio.

Results

Jeremy McCarthy, the group director of spa and wellness for Mandarin Oriental believes they have gotten their in-room fitness technology right, stating that “the downside of the traditional fitness center is that fitness training has become much more niche and personalized. One guest does yoga, another does CrossFit, another may do dance classes. It’s getting harder and harder to provide a single space that caters to all our guests.” Because Mirror offers more than 50 different styles of working out, it can delight any guest.

(Luxury Travel Magazine, 2019. Mandarin Oriental, 2020.)

CONTACTLESS SERVICE

Recommendations

Initiatives

Given the concern and anxiety that the pandemic has brought onto consumers, implementing this trend’s technology will improve guest and staff trust in the hotel.

To realize the most optimal return on a contactless program, consider the following initiatives:

  • If not already implemented, introduce a branded mobile application to work together with this trend’s technologies.
  • Measure your IT’s current-state operations, considering performance and security requirements before adopting the trend.
  • Ensure that your hotel offers alternative methods of interaction rather than using contactless technologies as a substitute.

Where to Seek Support

Impacts:

Owner/Franchise

General Manager

Engineering

Housekeeping

Guest Services

Marketing

Info-Tech Resources

Vendor Landscape: Door Locks & Access Control

Choose and Implement a Mobile Strategy

Embed Privacy and Security Culture Within Your Organization

Bibliography

“21 Touchless Hotel Ideas From Across the Industry.” Cvent, 5 Nov. 2020. Web.

“Checks, Balances in Digital Key Rollout.” Hotelier Magazine, 5 Jul. 2021. Web.

“Electronic Do-Not-Disturb Systems For Hotels At Every Price Point!” Axxess Industries, n.d. Web.

“Hospitality Solution for New & Existing Hotels” iNELS, 2019. Web.

“Hotel Door Locks.” Hotel Management, 24 July 2020. Web.

“Mandarin Oriental Celebrates 10 Years of Wellness Excellence.” Luxury Travel Magazine, 31 May 2019. Web.

“Mandarin Oriental taps into hotel room fitness trend.” Globetrender, 12 July 2018. Web.

“PrivacyService: Do-Not-Disturb Systems.” Axxess Industries, n.d. Web.

Cooper, Harriet. “How to stay fit in your hotel.” Mandarin Oriental, 28 Dec. 2020. Web.

Fox, Jena. “Survey: Travelers want contactless hotel experiences.” Hotel Management, 18 Aug. 2020. Web.

French, Phoebe. “California hotel uses wine-delivering room service robot.” The Drinks Business, 9 July 2020. Web.

Jelski, Christina. “Hotels embrace the evolution of in-room fitness in Covid era.” Travel Weekly, 27 Nov. 2020. Web.

Navarro, Chadner. “How the Hotel Gym is Adapting to COVID-19.” CN Traveler, 22 Sept. 2020. Web.

Taylor, Peter. “This Is What The Future Of Hotels Looks Like. Get Ready For Shrink Wrap And ‘Health Detectors.’” Forbes, 12 May 2020. Web.

Weisz, Gabriel. “How to give a contactless experience a human touch.” Hotel Management, 9 Feb. 2021. Web.

STRATEGIC FORESIGHT TREND 3: Digital Sustainability

Design With The Future In Mind

Info-Tech Pulse: 63

It is widely acknowledged that the catastrophic effects of climate change are looming and that it is the duty of the decade to take bold steps toward a more sustainable path. Consumers are participating; preferences have changed, and brand loyalty based almost solely on corporate social responsibility has manifested.

It is the initiative for the world to be net-zero carbon by 2050, hotels included. Therefore, hotels and their guests must be part of the solution. More and more, hotels are looking for reductions in carbon emissions and making them a prominent part of their strategic priorities, but the industry is still a long way from meeting this target.

Decision making is influenced by various factors; the sustainability piece just won’t cut it. The case for this trend must not undervalue other factors that the hotel owners want. As Hannah Walker, in-house designer of the Sinclair Hotel, states, “It was never our [original] end goal to be sustainable. We just wanted everything we were doing to be way more efficient” (Arup, 2021). Climate change may not be on an organization’s top radar, but sustainability is an efficient path that brings added benefits that a hotel owner will be interested in. Measures to reduce carbon emissions result in cost savings on energy bills, resilient energy infrastructures, operational efficiency, brand impact, and guest satisfaction.

Although IT is often viewed as a contributor to global warming because of its required electricity use, technology will play a key role in this initiative, especially in the guestroom.

(Arup, 2021. Architectural Digest, 2019.)

“Prior to the pandemic, guestrooms were typically unoccupied 70% of the time, yet accounted for up to 80% of energy consumption.” – Michael Sullivan, Building Segments President of Schneider Electric (Architectural Digest, 2019)

53% - Percentage of global travelers that want to travel more sustainably in the future (Booking.com, 2021)

289,700 - Tons of waste produced by hotels each year (Reconomy, qtd. in Open Access Government, 2018)

“Meanwhile bathrooms are the largest source of guest-generated expenses and damages for hotels because of behavioural water waste, [Utility Data Scientist Emery Wolf] explains, with 20 billion gallons of water wasted per year, costing the hotel industry $500 million annually.” (“Hospitality’s Not-So-Distant Future,” Hospitality Technology, 2020)

“On average, America’s 47,000 hotels spend $2,196 per available room each year on energy. This represents about 6 percent of all operating costs. Through a strategic approach to energy efficiency, a 10 percent reduction in energy consumption would have the same financial effect as increasing the average daily room rate (ADR) by $0.62 in a limited-service hotel and by $1.35 in a full-service hotel.” (ENERGY STAR)

DIGITAL SUSTAINABILITY

Technology Signals

Signals of technological change (consumer, competitive, or otherwise) that indicate a divergence from the status quo:

BeforeAfter

Manual Lighting and Thermostat Control

Guest (and possibly housekeeping) leaves the lights and HVAC systems on despite the room being unoccupied for a long period of time, resulting in energy wastage.

Sensor and Smart Lighting and Thermostat

Detects when the room is unoccupied and lowers lighting and HVAC levels, resulting in energy savings.

Keycard Energy Control

Guest inserts keycard into an energy-saving key slot device to activate lights and HVAC system.

Occupancy Sensors

Detects when the guest is in the room and adjusts lighting and HVAC levels according to their saved customizations.

Curtains

Guest manually opens and closes drapes. The status of curtains when unoccupied can affect HVAC levels, resulting in energy wastage.

Smart Curtains

Detects when room is unoccupied and shuts the drapes to adjust HVAC levels, resulting in energy savings.

Basic Showers

Typical guest habits include leaving the running shower unattended or taking dramatically long showers, resulting in water wastage.

Digital Showers

Reduce wastage through subtle water reduction with increased visibility into usage insights across the hotel.

DC/AC Power

Relying on traditional analog two-wire solutions to deliver data and information to different applications and analytics within the guestroom space.

Low Voltage

Data and power through the same cable, connecting in-room guest technologies such as TVs, HVAC controls, etc., using low voltage power from power over ethernet (PoE) or digital electricity cables, resulting in energy savings.

Printed Material

Hotel prints in-room guidebooks, keycards, and doorknob hangers for each guest and their rooms. Material is thrown away after every use.

Digital Material

Hotel’s printed material is replaced with in-room tablets and voice assistants for informational necessities. Digital keys and electronic do not disturb signs replace printed access control material. This results in reduced wastage.

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TREND IN THE GUESTROOM?

Hospitality Drivers

Business Growth

The primary role of digital sustainability is not to increase revenue but to serve a wider market by adapting to the preferences that sustainable consumers are adopting. Additionally, hotels that take on the digital sustainability initiative can realize optimal cost savings through the reduction of energy usage and printed material spending. By doing so, hotels can reinvest and create value elsewhere to further grow the business.

Risk & Resilience

The presence of many of these technologies is more frequent and less disruptive to the guest experience , but it is still a future-looking approach as these technologies aren’t going away any time soon. Not only does this trend’s implementation focus on environmental resilience, as reducing carbon emissions and moving toward a carbon-neutral future will help avert disruptive climate change for a better future, but it also supports compliance resilience: Your hotel can ensure it is following environmental policies such as California’s Energy Code – Title 24.

Operational Excellence

The adoption of this trend can bring operational efficiency because these tools carry analytical capabilities, supporting staff in maintenance and preventative management. In the end, its adoption can boost productivity for the team.

Business Growth - 3

Risk & Resilience - 2

Operational Excellence - 2

Guest Value - 3

Brand Impact - 3

Sustainability - 4

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TREND IN THE GUESTROOM?

Hospitality Drivers

Guest Value

Adopting this trend preserves the guest experience while still being energy efficient through subtle energy and water reduction. Additionally, implementation can satisfy multiple guest desires, pleasing those that look for opportunities to contribute to a greener world and those that look for complete control and personalization in the room.

Brand Impact

Publicizing the hotel as both a smart hotel that offers personalization and one that has been designed to save energy can positively impact the brand’s identity. Both ways invite guest attraction, satisfaction, and retention.

Sustainability

Overall, this trend’s focus is to reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint. Its implementation and the energy, water, and wastage savings it generates will ensure that the hotel is contributing to society and is making the most of its corporate social responsibility.

Business Growth - 3

Risk & Resilience - 2

Operational Excellence - 2

Guest Value - 3

Brand Impact - 3

Sustainability - 4

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TREND IN THE GUESTROOM?

Business Capability Map

The image is the same Business Capability Map that appeared in previous sections. In this version, Guest Services Management, Housekeeping, Supplies & Asset Management, and Facility & Property Management are categorized as Cost Advantage Creators, being color-coded in mid-blue. Guest Experience, Booking Management, Room Management, Hotel Ops Management, Reservation Management, POS Management, Loyalty Management, Analytics, Guest Services Management, Preference Management, Charging Management, Billing Management, Security & Surveillance, Strategy Management, IT Management, Brand & Corporate Communications, Construction, Design, & Development categorized as Competitive Advantage Creators, colored in dark blue.

Competitive Advantage - 2

Cost Advantage 2

Mid-Blue - Cost Advantage Creators

Dark Blue - Competitive Advantage Creators

DIGITAL SUSTAINABILITY

Benefits

Enables Corporate Transparency

Sustainable technology creates transparency through its analytical capabilities. By tracking the hotel operation’s carbon emissions, the hotel can demonstrate its accountability and progress in carbon emissions reduction goals. Doing so will further develop trust between the hotel and its guests. A positive example of this is Hilton’s tracking tool, which updates consumers on Hilton’s progress to cut its environmental footprint in half by 2030. Transparency is key for corporate sustainability, as it shows potential guests that your hotel is trustworthy and helps them to make more well-informed decisions.

Ahead of the Compliance Curve

Compliance with sustainability laws and regulations that dictate business decisions will protect and benefit the guests, organization, and environment. California’s Energy Code – Title 24 replicates the European mandate to become sustainable: “Hotel motel guest rooms shall have captive card key controls, occupancy sensing controls, or automatic controls such that, no longer than 20 minutes after the guest room has been vacated, lighting power is switched off“ (ICC Digital Codes, 2019). This code may not exist in your area, but similar environmental regulations may emerge eventually, making it pivotal for your organization to stay ahead of the compliance curve. By implementing this technology, your hotel will be resilient to inevitable government carbon reduction regulations.

Smart or Sustainable Hotel? Both!

As has been shown in data and surveys, people value sustainability and demand technological control. Investing in this trend has multiple benefits for a hotel. As described earlier in the report, technologies are not mutually exclusive to a trend. Digital keys are smart because they provide guest control, but they are also sustainable because they reduce the use of plastic. Sensor HVAC and lighting systems are smart because they automate engineering tasks, but they are also sustainable because they reduce energy and water usage. You don’t need to choose between being a smart hotel or a sustainable hotel – you can and should be both!

DIGITAL SUSTAINABILITY

Risks & Uncertainties

Program (Not Unit) Cost

The cost to purchase these technologies can be expensive. The purchase of one technology will encourage or require the purchase of another, and another, and another. For digital sustainability, you’re looking to build an entire energy management program, especially if your hotel wants to realize the most optimal return. The risk is failed approval because of the initial cost of the opportunity. Ensure that your business case includes an optimized cost-benefit analysis to demonstrate the strengths of the approach and what can be achieved if implemented.

Vendor Selection and Implementation

Considering the cost and engineering required for these technologies, the hotel will need to take part in a proper vendor selection and implementation process. Consider the Sinclair Hotel’s first attempt at renovation, when their LED lighting failed to work and their third-party lighting company and contractor did not feel like it was their duty to fix the problem (Superior Essex, 2019). Ensure that your hotel does its homework, building a contract that ensures proper installation and choosing a vendor that is well versed and reputable in the industry space.

IT Threats

Digital technology offers the potential for a sustainable future, but being AI- and IoT-enabled can pose its own set of threats. Broadly speaking, consider performance risks like errors and stability as well as security risks like cyberattacks and loss of privacy. The challenge for hotels and their IT staff is to scale these innovations. Ensure your organization has assessed your current state and is ready for implementation.

DIGITAL SUSTAINABILITY

ROI

Calculated methods to measure benefits realized for the costs incurred for each respective technology:

Technology Impact(s) P&L/Efficiency Line Item ROI Metrics ROI Measurement
Lighting Reduce energy usage by 30% Heat, Light & Power (Utility) Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR) CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold
Guest convenience through control of the energy management system (EMS) Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score
Thermostat Reduce HVAC energy usage by 30% Heat, Light & Power (Utility) Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR) CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold
Guest convenience through control of the EMS Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score
Digital Shower Reduce water usage by 30% per room Heat, Light & Power (Utility) Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR) CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold
Delights guests because of the ability to change water temperature Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score
PoE Low Voltage Reduce energy usage by 39% Heat, Light & Power (Utility) Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR) CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold

DIGITAL SUSTAINABILITY

Case Study

Washington Hilton – Honeywell EMS

Challenge

It is unquestionably known that hotel rooms are unoccupied almost as often as they are occupied, with more than 30% of hotel rooms in the US being unrented and many guests leaving their rooms unoccupied throughout much of the day. A hotel without a proper energy management system (EMS) will experience high electricity costs due to running HVAC and lighting systems in guestrooms. The traditional model does not include automation, occupancy detection, or property management system (PMS) integration. The Washington Hilton wanted to understand the benefits and savings of a modernized thermostat system. Washington Hilton partnered with Honeywell to measure and compare these savings.

Solution

Honeywell offers two types of EMS systems:

  • The INNCOM Standalone EMS, which includes sensors for advanced occupancy detection.
  • The INNCOM Networked EMS, which includes sensors for advanced occupancy detection and can be integrated with the hotel’s PMS to receive occupied and unoccupied status.

For six months, including months of peak HVAC demand, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) measured and analyzed the data as a third-party analyst.

Results

The findings were clear – a modernized EMS solution can bring energy cost savings:

  • A traditional thermostat uses 190.1 kWh.
  • The INNCOM Standalone EMS uses 139.1 kWh (27% savings compared to a traditional thermostat). The INNCOM Networked EMS uses 82.1 kWh (57% savings compared to a traditional thermostat and 41% savings compared to the Standalone EMS).

DIGITAL SUSTAINABILITY

Case Study

Sinclair Hotel – Superior Essex PoE

Challenge

Real estate developer and CEO of Sinclair Holding LLC, Farukh Aslam, purchased the 1929 Sinclair Building landmark with a vision to develop the masterpiece into a luxury Marriott Autograph Hotel. As renovations occurred, they ran into an unexpected issue – the control panels designed to run LED lighting throughout the building failed to work. The electrical contractor and the third-party lighting company did not feel it was their duty to fix the problem. Aslam decided to scrap the entire plan for a whole new design – the hotel and its 164 rooms would be powered through the ethernet (PoE).

Solution

Normally, technology would require two connection cables for network and power. However, if the technology is PoE-enabled, only one cable needs to be made with both the power and network being able to run through it. Sinclair Hotel partnered with Superior Essex to deploy PoE throughout the building and more importantly, in the guestroom:

  • Superior Essex PowerWise 1G 4PPoE for in-room touchscreen wall controllers
  • Superior Essex FAS 18 gauge/2 conductor cable for in-room light fixtures
  • Superior Essex FAS 18 gauge/8 conductor cable for bed headboard lights
  • Other PoE powered technologies they implemented include window shades, smart mirrors, and minibars.

Sinclair Holdings decided on PoE technology to make end devices “smart,” improve troubleshooting, track energy consumption, and decrease loss and waste.

Results

The hotel received recognition as the first “Intelligent Building” in Texas because of its implementation of PoE cables to run the building in its entirety.

As a result, the hotel experienced an overall 30 to 35% reduction in energy costs and has enabled an improved guest experience through tech-to-app integration and personalized room controls. To them, the technology is considered better than the old-fashioned electric wiring. As Aslam states, “PoE is much quicker to deploy, and you only need a low-voltage contractor to do so, which is cheaper than an electrical contractor, and you won’t need as many inspections anymore either.”

DIGITAL SUSTAINABILITY

Recommendations

Initiatives

Given the current state that our environment is in today, which has increased stakeholder and guest concern, implementing this trend will allow the hotel industry to be viewed as one that is doing its part for a greener world.

To realize the most optimal return on a digital sustainability program, consider the following initiatives:

  • Compare current-state operations to possible future-state scenarios on an energy consumption basis and be transparent to the community on your progress.
  • Measure your IT’s current-state operations, considering performance and security before adopting the trend.
  • Ensure that your hotel has gone through a formal vendor selection process to ensure that you’re working with the right partner for years to come.

Where to Seek Support

Impacts:

Owner/Franchise

General Manager

Engineering

Marketing

Does not impact:

Housekeeping

Guest Services

Info-Tech Resources

The Future of Energy: Facing the “New Normal”

Sustain and Grow the Maturity of Innovation in Your Enterprise

2021 Tech Trends: Digital Sustainability

Bibliography

“Automatic lighting control of hotel rooms.” iNELS, n.d. Web.

“Beauty and the Tech,” Superior Essex, 2019. Web.

“California Energy Code, Title 24, Part 6.” ICC Digital Codes, 2019. Web.

“Case Study: Mandarin Oriental.” Lutron, n.d. Web.

Danielsen, Tina. “The Sinclair Hotel Fort Worth: PoE Lighting Sparks a Digital Vision.” Realcomm, 9 Jan. 2020. Web.

DePinto, Jesse. “Occupancy Sensing Improves Hospitality.” LinkedIn, 13 June 2017. Web.

Dilouie, Craig. “All About Occupancy and Vacancy Sensors.” Lighting Control Association, 21 Aug. 2017. Web.

Donovan, Nicola. “New research reveals an increased desire to travel more sustainably.” Booking.com, 22 April 2021. Web.

Elyssa, Abby. “Turning up the tech: Digital hotel opens in Texas.” Hotel Business, 7 April 2020. Web.

Escobar, Michal. “Hospitality’s Not-So-Distant Future.” Hospitality Technology, 22 Dec. 2020. Web.

Escobar, Michal. “Lutron Introduces Its Code-Smart Guestroom System Featuring Guest Presence Detection” Hospitality Technology, 5 Aug. 2021. Web.

“Forest Hotel Curtain Track Solutions.” Forest Drapery Hardware, n.d. Web.

“Guest Room Controls.” Leviton, n.d. Web.

“Honeywell Goes Wireless with Latest INNCOM e-Series Thermostat.” Hospitality Technology, 3 March 2020. Web.

“Honeywell Unveils Voice-Control Thermostat For Hotel Guest Rooms.” Hotel Technology News, 5 March 2019. Web.

“Hospitality Solutions: Asia.” Lutron, 2011. Web.

“Hotels: An Overview of Energy Use and Energy Efficiency Opportunities.” ENERGY STAR, n.d. Web.

“INNCOM e7w Thermostat.” INNCOM, Honeywell, n.d. Web.

“Lighting the Hotel of the Future.” GE Current, 23 March 2016.

“Motion Sensor Hotel Thermostats Make Your Room More Comfortable.” Your Mileage May Vary, 25 Oct. 2020. Web.

“Sinclair Holdings Uses PoE Technology in the World's First All-Digital Hotel.” Igor Tech, 6 Feb. 2020. Web.

Singh, Eileen. “Counteracting Rising Energy Bills.” Energy CIO Insights, 14 July 2016. Web.

“Smart Curtain Integration Solutions for Hospitality.” Top Hotel Supplier, 20 Oct. 2020. Web.

Temblador, Alex. “The Sinclair Hotel Is the First in the World to Power Itself With This New Technology” Architectural Digest, 5 Nov. 2019.

“The Guide to Occupancy Sensors.” True Occupancy, n.d. Web.

“The hospitality industry’s relationship with waste.” Open Access Government, 30 Aug. 2018. Web.

“Third-party utility validates INNCOM Energy Savings at Washington Hilton.” INNCOM, Honeywell, 2020. Web.

“Transforming Existing Hotels to Net Zero Carbon.” Arup, 2021. Web.

Yang, Elvina. “Honeywell introduces Alexa Built-In Thermostat For Hotel Rooms.” Asmag, 7 March 2018. Web.

STRATEGIC FORESIGHT TREND 4: Wow! Guest Experiences

Exceeding Guest Expectations

Info-Tech Pulse: 46

As guests become increasingly tech-savvy, hotels must consider the unexpected emerging and disrupting technology. If you consider the consumer adaptive trend and the role it currently plays in the hotel industry, it becomes clear that these technologies will eventually become table-stakes amenities. All hotels, in one way or another, will implement consumer adaptive technology. The hotel’s objective is once again to bring the “wow” factor back to focus because guests are looking for an experience that is better than what they can find in their day-to-day lives.

Furthermore, this trend involves emerging technologies guests cannot find at home that enhance the experience and exceed expectations by replacing or reinventing existing guestroom amenities. As these technologies continue to emerge, hotels must use them to their advantage to differentiate themselves from the competition and should consider a strategy that will further define the way guests enjoy their stay. The implementation of these technologies is just the beginning. Hotels must strategize these technologies to hyper-personalize the guest experience, using the information gathered to anticipate the preferences of the guests and subsequently make those preferences a reality. Examine the wow! guest experiences technologies in the following slides that enable the collection of guest data to help anticipate guest needs or wants.

Quality of room and guest satisfaction can be “improved by replacing or remanufacturing existing furniture and adding some new amenities to each hotel room.” – Mikolaj Domanski (Södertörn University, 2020)

81% - Percentage of travelers that want a great digital customer experience from hotel brands (PwC, qtd. in Finances Online, 2021)

20% - Percentage of millennials that are engaged as customers in the hospitality industry (Gallup, 2016)

“Not only are amenities a fantastic way to ‘wow’ your guests, but they can actually be used as a selling point and shape a portion of your hotel’s marketing strategy.” – Megan Boley, Cvent (Cvent, 2020)

WOW! GUEST EXPERIENCES

Technology Signals

Signals of technological change (consumer, competitive, or otherwise) that indicate a divergence from the status quo:

BeforeAfter

Wine Service

Guest calls room service to order a bottle of wine they may not entirely drink, waiting some time before its arrival.

Wine by the Glass

Guest does not expect a wine dispenser in the room that can conveniently dispense a glass of wine in an instant. The hotel has chosen the guest’s wine of preference to serve.

Bed

Guest expects a comfortable sleep in the hotel bed.

Smart Bed

Guest does not expect the ability to adjust bed customizations and view sleeping analytics. The hotel can remember their guest’s bed profile and customizations for future stays.

Room Service Attendant

Attendant brings room service or requested items to the guest’s room.

Room Service Robot

Robot brings room service or requested items to the guest’s room, surprising and delighting the guest.

Mirror

Guest expects a mirror in the guestroom and bathroom.

Smart Mirror

Guest does not expect that the mirror is more than meets the eye, and the mirror surprises the guest as it includes digital apps and a built-in television. The hotel can use the mirror in the guest arrival experience by presenting the guest’s name on the screen.

Shower

Guest expects a shower in the bathroom.

Digital Shower

Guest does not expect the ability to control the water temperature and personalize the shower experience using a touchscreen.

Art

Guest expects simple artwork in the guestroom.

Digital Art

Guest does not expect digital art, which wows the guest and improves the experience. The hotel can choose the art on display based on guest preferences.

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TREND IN THE GUESTROOM?

Hospitality Drivers

Business Growth

Retaining a loyal guest is often easier and less costly than attracting a new one, which is why this trend is attractive. Providing a wow! guest experience will lead to active advocates that can drive increased revenue through their loyalty and outspoken satisfaction, which will further attract and retain guests.

Risk & Resilience

This trend is future-focused but deals with emerging technologies that have unknown or increased technological risks. Therefore, this trend does not drive resilience away from risk, but instead approaches it head-on.

Operational Excellence

Hotel staff will have a learning curve that comes with the implementation of emerging guest-facing technology. If a technology does not function optimally, staff must be ready to repair or answer to the guests. This trend is not a driver for operational excellence, but it does offer the ability for the business to feel empowered as it leverages technology to exceed guest expectations.

Business Growth - 3

Risk & Resilience - 1

Operational Excellence - 1

Guest Value - 4

Brand Impact - 3

Sustainability - 1

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TREND IN THE GUESTROOM?

Hospitality Drivers

Guest Value

The role of this trend is to keep guests interested and exceed their expectations. From the guest perspective, these technologies are supposed to provide the wow factor they desire, with this type of amenity being unexpected by most guests. The implementation of this technology will improve the quality of the room. If the hotel can use this technology to personalize the guest experience, it will also improve the quality of the service.

Brand Impact

These technologies are not hospitality staples, so their implementation will create brand distinction. As a differentiator, they invite guest attraction, satisfaction, and retention.

Sustainability

Overall, this trend’s focus is not to increase sustainability but to provide a better guest experience. Depending on the technology, it may bring sustainability benefits, but that is a factor that can be investigated and, if necessary, used as a persuasive component for a business case.

Business Growth - 3

Risk & Resilience - 1

Operational Excellence - 1

Guest Value - 4

Brand Impact - 3

Sustainability - 1

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TREND IN THE GUESTROOM?

Business Capability Map

The image is the same Business Capability map that has appeared in previous sections. In this version, Supplies & Asset Management is colored in mid-blue to indicate that it is a Cost Advantage Creator. Loyalty Management, Guest Experience, Guest Services Management, Analytics, Advertising, Promotions & Incentives, Preference Management, Charging Management, Rebate Management, Retail Services Management, Strategy Management, IT Management, Brand & Corporate Communications, and Construction, Design, and Development are colored dark blue to indicate Competitive Advantage Creators.

Competitive Advantage - 2

Cost Advantage - 1

Legend:

Mid-blue - Cost Advantage Creators

Dark Blue - Competitive Advantage Creators

WOW! GUEST EXPERIENCES

Benefits

Quality of Service

Implementing this technology will affect the quality of service, which can be seen as both a benefit and a risk depending on how the hotel chooses to strategize its application. For this trend’s technology to be successful in creating a satisfying quality of service, the hotel must assess how it can be used to personalize the experience, which may be more difficult to accomplish. However, when a hotel develops a lucrative strategy for hyper-personalization using this technology, it can delight guests whose expectations were met to a greater extent than they expected.

Enable Differentiation Through Design

Undoubtedly, wow! guest experience technologies improve the quality of the room. Consumers subconsciously factor in the design of the room and its amenities. These technologies can transform outdated or unembellished pieces of furniture into a digital experience with unique features that delights guests and exceeds their expectations.

WOW! GUEST EXPERIENCES

Risks & Uncertainties

Technological Uncertainties

With little usage across the industry landscape, implementing emerging technologies is more of a trial run. This can create unforeseeable obstacles that can cause considerable damage to guest satisfaction and, moreover, the hotel’s reputation. In this case, a hotel must be able to effectively prepare by properly assessing where the risks could lie and how they can be managed.

Education & Awareness

If guest education and awareness do not exist, then the benefits of the initiative cannot be realized. Especially with emerging technology, this can become a risk. Guests either don’t know the technology exists in the room or they don’t know how to use it. To mitigate this risk, hotels must consider how they will make guests aware that the technology exists and how they will educate guests (and staff) in using the technology.

Quality of Service

Implementing this technology will affect the quality of service, which can be seen as both a benefit and a risk depending on how the hotel chooses to strategize its application. For this trend’s technology to be successful in creating a satisfying quality of service, the hotel must assess how it can be used to personalize the experience, which may be more difficult to accomplish. If a hotel does not develop a lucrative strategy for personalization using this technology, the benefits will not be realized.

WOW! GUEST EXPERIENCES

ROI

Calculated methods to measure benefits realized for the costs incurred for each respective technology:

Technology Impact(s) P&L/Efficiency Line Item ROI Metrics ROI Measurement
Smart Mirror Reduced printed material in the guestroom Printing Costs Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR) CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold
Guest convenience, as it is used to make requests, ask information, etc. Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score
Wine by the Glass Increased revenue opportunities with capture rates of 30% vs. 1% from minibars Food & Beverage Revenue Total Revenue per Available Room (TRevPAR) TRevPAR = Total Net Revenue / Number of Available Rooms
Guest’s time savings (45 min. waiting for room service vs. 8 seconds waiting for wine to dispense) Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score
Room Service Robot Sale of extra services Revenue, Food & Beverage Revenue, Other Departmental Revenue Total Revenue per Available Room (TRevPAR) TRevPAR = Total Net Revenue / Number of Available Rooms
Staff time savings Productivity Hours per Room Occupied Hours per Room Occupied = Hours Worked / Number of Rooms Sold
Annual cost of staff delivery vs. annual robot cost Labor Cost Labor Cost Percentage Labor Cost % = (Total Labor Costs / Gross Sales) x 100

WOW! GUEST EXPERIENCES

ROI (Continued)

Calculated methods to measure benefits realized for the costs incurred for each respective technology:

Technology Impact(s) P&L/Efficiency Line Item ROI Metrics ROI Measurement
Smart Bed Guest comfort though sensory biometrics and sleep analytics Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score
Digital Art Guest’s cultural value from eye-catching amplification of guest’s mood Guest Satisfaction Net Promoter Score Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score

WOW! GUEST EXPERIENCES

Case Study

Four Seasons Orlando – Plum Wine Dispenser

Challenge

When a customer thinks of the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World, they think luxury and lavishness. Four Seasons Orlando’s goal is to provide their guests with luxurious amenities that differentiate their hotel from competitors. Guests were already enjoying amenities like an in-mirror bathroom television and a tablet for hotel requests. These amenities, however, are consumer adaptive trends that many hotels have already implemented. So, as Central Florida’s only Five Diamond Award–rated property, how could the hotel further deliver a better-than-expected experience to its guests?

Solution

For Four Seasons, the Plum Wine-By-The-Glass Dispenser was the answer to their problems. With this dispenser, guests can dispense a glass of wine with just a touch of a button, and it’s automatically charged to the guest’s hotel folio. As a resort in Walt Disney World, the hotel is focused in on the adult demographic and how they could be kept satisfied. For Plum, the goal is to help hotels attract new guests but also reward their most loyal ones in two ways: its software’s capability to issue an amenity or recover service ensures the highest possible guest satisfaction score, and the hotel can choose wines based on guest preferences to ensure that the dispensing experience is personalized.

Results

What started out as 68 dispensers became 200 dispensers outfitted in the guestrooms because of its success. Jennifer Rama, the Director of Food and Beverage at Four Seasons Resort Orlando stated that “Plum is truly great for guests who are wine lovers, but perhaps don’t wish to order an entire bottle.” From an operational standpoint, the hotel claims that Plum provides productivity savings since room service attendants are spending less time delivering and uncorking wine for guests.

(Four Seasons Press Room, 2018. The Points Guy, 2018.)

WOW! GUEST EXPERIENCES

Case Study

London West Hollywood – Bryte Smartbed

Challenge

A new segment trend forming in the hospitality industry is wellness. For hotels like Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, their objective is to create a wellness experience that exceeds guest expectations in a luxury setting. Specifically, their focus is to find and implement technology that improves wellness during sleep. Tammy Pahel, the Vice President of Spa & Wellness Operations at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, explained that with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, “[p]eople have tremendous anxiety and sleepless nights.”

Solution

In 2016, Bryte launched the Restorative Bed, built to improve sleep. When the guest goes to sleep, its embedded sensory network detects biometrics, and its 100 computer-controlled air cushions alleviate pressure points. When the guest wakes up, they feel refreshed and can analyze their sleeping patterns. Bryte cofounder and CEO Ely Tsern stated, “For a hotel to address wellness at a scale, they must start with the foundation of health and wellness itself: sleep. And when you seek to improve sleep, the most important product to consider is the bed.” With that, Pahel was impressed by the technology and immediately sold on the benefits. As a trial run, the resort installed five of Bryte’s Restorative Beds.

Results

According to Pahel, “Our guests have been raving about their sleeping experience when staying in the suite with the Bryte beds.” The hotel became so convinced that the bed will be a hit throughout the hotel that what started out as 5 bed installations became an objective of 111 total beds by the end of 2021. Additionally, guests have purchased the Bryte bed for their personal use at home after experiencing a good night’s sleep in the guestroom. Bryte was the technology Carillon Miami Wellness Resort needed to differentiate its brand from competitors.

(Hospitality Technology, 2021. Spa Opportunities, 2020)

WOW! GUEST EXPERIENCES

Recommendations

Initiatives

Given the fact that technology has become such a large part of the consumer lifestyle, implementing technologies from this trend provides differentiation from competitors and improves the quality of the guestroom.

To realize the most optimal return on a technology in this trend, consider the following initiatives:

  • Prepare the hotel by properly assessing where the technological risks could lie and how they can be managed.
  • Emerging technology can enable exceptionalism through personalization. For a successful business case, further consider how the technology can personalize and bring value to the guest experience and how it could positively impact other aspects of the hotel.
  • Implement a guest education process and train the hotel staff on how to respond to technology-related guest questions.

Where to Seek Support

Impacts:

Owner/Franchise

General Manager

Engineering

Guest Services

Marketing

Does Not Impact:

Housekeeping

Info-Tech Resources

2020 CIO Priorities Report – Leverage Emerging Technology to Create Wow! Customer Experiences

2020 Hospitality Trend Report – Robotics

2020 Hospitality Trend Report – Hyper-Personalized Guest Experience

Bibliography

Adkins, Amy. “Brands aren’t winning millennial consumers.” Gallup, 15 June 2016. Web.

Boley, Megan. “19 Hotel Amenity Ideas That Will Wow Your Guests.” Cvent, 28 July 2020. Web.

“CASE STUDY: Sinclair ‘Smart Hotel’ Sets Itself Apart with Guestroom TVs, Digital Signage and Smart Mirrors that Run on PoE.” Hospitality Technology, 26 Aug. 2020. Web.

“Cheers! Four Seasons Resort Orlando offers new in-room wine by the glass system.” Four Seasons Press Room, 18 Dec. 2018. Web.

Christoff, Janeen. “Smart Mirrors Are Upgrading the Hotel Experience.” Travel Pulse, 21 Aug. 2018.

Domanski, Mikolaj. “The concept of a smart hotel and its impact on guests’ satisfaction, privacy and the perception of the service quality.” Södertörn University, 2020. Web.

Escobar, Michal. “Can AI Deliver a Perfect Night’s Sleep?” Hospitality Technology, 21 Jan. 2021. Web.

Fox, Jena. “Smart mirrors are helping redefine the hotel guest experience.” Hotel Management, 24 May 2018. Web.

Friedman, Ilan. “IoT and Efficient Water Consumption.” LinkedIn, 13 April 2017. Web.

Gilbert, Nestor. “109 Hospitality Statistics You Must Know: 2021/2022 Data Analysis & Market Share.” Finances Online, 2021.

Haecki, Susanne. “Smart shower meter reduces hotel's energy consumption.” LinkedIn, 25 Nov. 2016. Web.

Hughes, Andy. “Discover the most luxurious hotel bathroom gadgets.” One Part Partitions, n.d. Web.

Hull, Summer. “The Future is Here: In-Room Wine Dispensers Are A Real Thing at One Disney Area Hotel.” The Points Guy, 19 Dec. 2018.

“Introducing the first fully smart automated shower which combines an unrivalled luxury guest experience with significant water and energy savings.” Global Banking & Finance Review, n.d. Web.

Kilburn, Hamish. “Aqualisa unveils next generation of smart showers.” Hotel Designs, 17 March 2020. Web.

McCoy, Elin. “Raise a glass! Your next hotel room might offer wine on tap.” Financial Post, 15 March 2018. Web.

“Plum Launches the First Appliance That Serves Wine by the Glass in Hotel Guest Rooms.” Plum, 31. Jan. 2017. Web.

“Plum’s Wine on Demand Amenity Installed in all 226 Suites at Star-Studded London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills.” Plum, 10 Sept. 2019. Web

Riedel, Florian. “Four Seasons Pilots Smart Wine Dispenser.” Hospitality Technology, 29 June 2018. Web.

“Room service just got better: Meet Dash, the room service robot.” EHL Insights, n.d. Web.

Sait, Daniel. “Marriott Uses Savvy Smart Mirror In Rollout.” Essential Install, 11 Sept. 2018. Web.

“Smart Glass For Bathroom Enclosures And Shower Doors” Gauzy, 31 Dec. 2020. Web.

“Switchable Glass helps make the Hotel of the Future.” Intelligent Glass, n.d. Web.

“The ROI of Hotel Delivery Robots.” Savioke, 2019. Web.

Whitby, Megan. “Bryte develops AI smart-bed to improve and optimise restorative sleep.” Spa Opportunities, 29 July 2020. Web.

STRATEGIC FORESIGHT TREND REPORT

Activities

Make the Case for a Room-as-a-Platform Initiative

Funnel technology trends into business opportunities

Transform strategic foresight trend insights into actionable initiatives by determining what technology your hotel should prioritize and how to persuade stakeholders for approval

Dealing with trends is one of the most important tasks for innovation and digital transformation. It provides the basis of developing the future orientation of the hotel. However, being aware of a trend is one thing; developing a strategy for response is another. Info-Tech has evaluated and chosen trends that are important in different capacities. At this point, your hotel should determine what technologies are applicable to your hotel.

Your strategy should involve the following steps:

  1. Prioritization: Info-Tech began this step for you by determining the general impacts of each trend for the industry and the technologies available in the space. Now it’s your turn. Which technologies should you prioritize?
  2. Persuasion: After determining what to prioritize, how could you persuade and gain support from your stakeholders?

Prioritize your technology initiatives by doing a high-level analysis

This strategic foresight trends report is the horizon scanning needed to determine the degree of impact the trend has on your industry. Transitioning from horizon scanning to strategic action requires evaluating what specific technological opportunities can lead to growth for your hotel. To customize to your hotel, further evaluate the opportunities by a set of criteria:

Industry-specific

  • Impact

The degree of impact the trend will have on your industry. A trend with high impact will drive new business models, products, or services.

  • Hospitality Value Drivers
  • Business Capabilities

Horizon scanning done by Info-Tech to determine the impact of these trends on the hotel industry

Further customize this score depending on:

  • The mutually exclusiveness of each technology. Does it fall in multiple trend buckets that further benefit the industry, making it more available, applicable, and impactful for the hotel than originally intended?
  • The specific technology that’s being analyzed. Analysis was done for the trends as wholes, but these scores could vary depending on the specific technology.

Organization-specific

  • Relevance
    • The relevance of the trend to your organization. Does the trend fulfill the vision or the goals of the organization?
  • Timing
    • The estimated time to disruption this trend will have to your industry.

Decide your score based on:

  • The technology’s impact on hotel classification: service level, target segments, and location. In other words, what are your guests’ needs and expectations?
  • Conflict with other implemented technologies: Does it provide redundant applications and features, and could you do without it?
  • Projects and requirements gathering: Will this technology satisfy the needs of your business stakeholders?

Decide your score based on:

  • Whether the trend will require significant developments to support its entry into the ecosystem.
  • Your hotel’s budget to implement the solution.

Use the MoSCoW analysis for prioritization

Assessments based on time, relevancy, and impact will inform the overall effect on the industry and specific organization. This information, when contrasted with the concept of a MoSCoW (must address, should address, could address, won’t address)–based relevance-to-impact analysis, forms an enhanced decision-making framework that can be used to determine initiative sequencing on a strategic roadmap.

MoSCoW analysis table for prioritization.4-quadrant table with y-axis called Impact and x-axis called Relevance. Legend: 1 = weak, 2 = medium, 3 = strong, and 4 = superior. Top Left quadrant includes low relevance, high impact technologies that could be considered. Top Right quadrant includes high relevance, high impact technologies that must be prioritized above others. Bottom left quadrant includes low relevance and low impact tecnologies that won't be considered. Bottom right quadrant includes high relevance and low impact technologies that should be considered.

Relevance-to-Impact Analysis

  • HR = High Relevance
  • LR = Low Relevance
  • HI = High Impact
  • LI = Low Impact

Ranked technologies based on your needs:

  1. Technology you MUST ADDRESS
  2. Technology you SHOULD ADDRESS
  3. Technology you COULD ADDRESS

Look to implement these technologies into your hotel.

Vet the technology opportunities

To determine which opportunity to act on, use a prioritization framework that enables decision makers to see the timing, relevance, and impact of the opportunities. Leverage the criteria we have defined already to prioritize the technologies to pursue.

Technology Implemented? (Y/N) Impact (Scale of 1 to 4) Relevance (Scale of 1 to 4) Timing Conflict? (Y/N)
Voice Assistants No 3 3 No
In-Room Tablet No 3 2 No
IPTV Display Yes
Casting Device No 2 1 No
Wireless Charging Station Yes
Remove from consideration technology that has already been implemented. Deprioritize technology that has timing and budget conflicts.

MoSCoW analysis table for prioritization.4-quadrant table with y-axis called Impact and x-axis called Relevance. Legend: 1 = weak, 2 = medium, 3 = strong, and 4 = superior. Top Left quadrant includes low relevance, high impact technologies that could be considered. Example is In-Room Tablet. Top Right quadrant includes high relevance, high impact technologies that must be prioritized above others. Example is Voice Assistant. Bottom left quadrant includes low relevance and low impact tecnologies that won't be considered. Example is Casting Device. Bottom right quadrant includes high relevance and low impact technologies that should be considered. No example.

Activity: Prioritize in-room technology initiatives

1-3 hours

Input

  • Key stakeholder input
  • Analysis from this trends report
  • In-room technology longlist
  • Timing, impact, and relevance criteria

Output

  • Prioritized list of in-room technology initiatives based on the timing, impact, and relevance criteria

Materials

  • In-Room Technology Initiative Workbook
  • Vetting table
  • MoSCoW graph
  • This trends report

Participants

  • CIO
  • IT management members
  • Key business stakeholders in your organization
  1. Download the In-Room Technology Initiative Workbook.
  2. As a group, analyze each technology based on the timing, impact, and relevance criteria.
  3. Consider any further impacts of the trend based on information in this trends report, such as the hospitality drivers, business capability map, benefits, risks, ROI, case studies, and recommendations.
  4. Using the editable version of the vetting table, apply the results of the above discussions to determine the scoring of each technology.
  5. Using the editable version of the MoSCoW graph, plot each technology on the graph as an overview reference in creating a prioritized list of technology initiatives.

Download the In-Room Technology Initiative Workbook

Develop your minimum viable business case

  • Now that you have selected your trend and respective technology, gain support from your stakeholders by building a minimum viable business case.
  • To truly be viewed by business units as a strategic leader, the CIO must be prepared to spot opportunities for organizational growth and build the case to make it happen.
  • The business case is still the primary vehicle to gain the necessary support and resources from the business to execute on IT projects. But full business cases are for scaling, not starting.
  • Measure twice, cut once. Start small with a business case designed to gain interest and support. Then scale up with expertise from within the organization.

Download the In-Room Technology Minimum Viable Business Case Template

The image is an example of a business case, Guestroom Tablets Initiative. The initiative has five sections, transcribed below.

Section 1: Concept

Section 2: Rationale

Section 3: Align business goals with rationale

Section 4: Key risks and mitigation tactics

Section 5: Cost-benefit analysis

Leverage the trends report outputs for your minimum viable business case

TREND REPORT MINIMUM VIABLE BUSINESS CASE

Technology Signals

Each technology is introduced with a description, highlighting its growth and impact using a before-and-after comparison.

Concept

Describe the proposed room-as-a-platform initiative: its key features, size, target market, and main revenue streams.

Description

Each trend is introduced with a description and statistics, highlighting its growth and impact.

Rationale

Document reasons for the design of the initiative.

Initiative

Align the rationale of the guestroom initiative with the business goals of the hotel, identifying ways in which the current state is impeding the progress of the organization and highlighting potential enablers for progress associated with the initiative.

Hospitality Drivers

An analysis of the 360-degree view of value drivers that will be impacted – both positively and negatively – upon the implementation of this trend.

Business Capability Map

An analysis of the 360-degree view of the business capabilities that will be positively impacted upon the implementation of this trend, based on cost advantage and competitive advantage weightings.

Benefits

A summary of benefits that could be achieved from a business and human perspective through the successful adoption of these technologies.

Risks

A summary of risks and critical unknowns that could be realized from a business and human perspective through the adoption of these technologies.

Risks and Mitigation Tactics

To demonstrate preparedness, highlight risks that could affect the guestroom initiative and ways to mitigate either the possibility of the risk occurring or the effect of the risk should it occur.

ROI

Calculated methods to measure benefits realized for the costs incurred for each respective technology.

Benefit Analysis

Determine the quantitative benefits using a cost-benefit analysis to determine expectations for profitability and returns from the initiative.

Documenting key elements that specific stakeholders prioritize in your business case is pivotal to gain support

Encompass the business, operational, and technical feasibility and impact into your rationale.

Business:

Owner/Franchise/Management Leaders

Focused on:

  • Understanding business imperatives and considerations
  • Identifying areas of opportunities and operational impact

Operational:

Head of Hotel Departments

Focused on:

  • Understanding what the technology means for each hotel function
  • Identifying existing operational pain points and opportunities to improve productivity

Technical:

IT Leadership and Department

Focused on:

  • Identifying both technical and nontechnical considerations when adopting technology solutions
  • Understanding requirements and challenges in selecting and implementing technology solutions in the hotel context

Who will be impacted?

Where you should gain support

Impacts:

Owner/Franchise - Business Growth, Brand Impact, Revenue, Sustainability, Cost Savings

General Manager - Guest Value, Cost Savings, Labor & Productivity Savings

Engineering - Heat, Light & Power; Repairs & Maintenance’ Productivity Savings

Housekeeping - Guest Value, Labor & Productivity Savings

Guest Services - Guest Value, Labor & Productivity Savings

Marketing - Guest Value, Brand Impact, Revenue

MINIMUM VIABLE BUSINESS CASE

Concept

  • List the characteristics for the proposed guestroom initiative, describing its key features, size, target market, and main revenue streams or utilization strategy.
  • Leverage the technology’s description in the trends report:
    • What is the technology?
    • What are its features?
  • Determine how it will be customized to your hotel:
    • Where in the guestroom do you plan to implement the technology?
    • How many guest suites does your hotel have, and would it be implemented in all or some of them?
  • Once finalized, document the description of your proposed guestroom initiative in the Concept section of the In-Room Technology Minimum Viable Business Case Template.

The image is the example business case, titled Guestroom Tablets Initiative. The Concept section is highlighted in yellow.

MINIMUM VIABLE BUSINESS CASE

Rationale

  • The rationale answers the question, why should the hotel implement this technology?
  • Essentially, the rationale is the reason for designing the initiative.
  • Leverage the trends report to document your rationale:
    • What trend is encouraging this implementation?
    • What is the trend’s signal?
    • What is driving this trend on an industry level?
    • How does this trend impact your hotel’s business capabilities?
    • What are the trend’s benefits?
  • Once finalized, document your rationale in the Rationale section of the In-Room Technology Minimum Viable Business Case Template.

The image is the example business case, titled Guestroom Tablets Initiative. The Rationale section is highlighted in yellow.

MINIMUM VIABLE BUSINESS CASE

Align IT and business initiatives

1. Extract business initiatives from corporate documents that contain business aspirations, goals, and initiatives in order to determine existing priorities and goals set by the organization. Examples of documents include annual reports and business unit strategy documents. 2. Determine the benefits of the guestroom initiative that closely align with and promote the success of the business goals. 3. Make the case for the guestroom initiative by discovering gaps in the current state and describing how the guestroom technology can accomplish the hotel’s business goals.
Business Goals →Achieved Through → Guestroom Initiative →Create or improve→ Current State
Business Goal IT Initiative Current State
Business Goal IT Initiative Current State
Business Goal IT Initiative Current State

Sample Data: IHG’s 2021 initiatives and how they could be used for a guestroom tablet initiative

Our Purpose: True Hospitality for Good

Our Priorities:

Build loved and trusted brands

Customer centric in all we do

  • Supporting our owners as hotels re-open and demand recovers
  • Focusing marketing on key demographics for returning demand
  • Supporting the return of business travel, groups and events
  • Enhancing our loyalty offer

Create digital advantage

Care for our people, communities, and planet

Document your findings in the middle section of the In-Room Technology Minimum Viable Business Case Template

The image is a cut-out of the middle section of the In-Room Technology Minimum Viable Business Case Template, with the columns titled Business Goal, Current State, and Guestroom Initiative highlighted in yellow.

(“Investor Presentation,” IHG Hotels & Resorts, 2021)

MINIMUM VIABLE BUSINESS CASE

Internal & external costs analysis

Depending on the trend and technology chosen, your initiative will likely come with myriad vendor costs, which may drive the decision to proceed or not. Internal costs are equally as pivotal to consider for the business case because they will represent a significant portion of total costs and time for your staff.

Vendor Costs

  • Subscription/Rental Fees
  • Implementation
  • Professional Services
  • Maintenance & Support
  • Training
  • Hardware

Consider the matching internal costs associated with the vendor activity. For example, data cleansing, internal support, etc.

Internal Costs

  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Business Readiness
  • Change Management
  • Resourcing
  • Training

Ensure that the internal costs for critical areas are accurately represented and will contribute to success.

MINIMUM VIABLE BUSINESS CASE

ROI metrics for benefit analysis

Determine the quantitative benefits for the cost-benefit analysis by determining expectations for profitability and returns from the initiative, leveraging the ROI metrics illustrated in the trends report:

Objective ROI Metric Definition ROI Measurement/Method to Calculate
To reduce costs Labor Cost %: Analyze labor management to maximize efficiency of labor force Labor Cost % = (Total Labor Costs / Gross Sales) x 100
Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR): Room profitability – considers both fixed and variable expenses CPOR = Total Rooms Departments Cost / Total Rooms Sold
To increase revenue Total Revenue per Available Room (TRevPAR): Includes revenue beyond booked rooms, e.g. spa TRevPAR = Total Net Revenue / Number of Available Rooms
To increase productivity Hours per Room Occupied: Analyze number of hours it takes to service guests and their rooms Hours per Room Occupied = Hours Worked / Number of Rooms Sold
To increase guest satisfaction Net Promoter Score: Guests rate likelihood to recommend the hotel Net Promoter Score = Promoter Score – Detractor Score

MINIMUM VIABLE BUSINESS CASE

Aggregated cost-benefit analysis

Costs Benefits
Hardware Cost: $300 per tablet, 300 rooms 300 x 300 = $90,000 Printed Material Cost Savings (Per Month): Guestroom guidebooks, menus, hotel information, etc. $5,000 per month
Implementation Fees: $2,500 Sale of Extra Services (Per Month): Amenity reservations, late checkout, room service $6,000 per month
Subscription Fees (Per Month): $7 per month per tablet 300 tablets/guestrooms 300 x 7 = $2,100 per month 1.1 Increase in Net Promoter Score 50% Response Time Savings

The image is a section of the In-Room Technology Minimum Viable Business Case Template, with the Cost and Benefit sections highlighted in yellow. They have been populated with the numbers from the table.

After collecting relevant vendor and internal costs associated with the initiative, as well as the benefits associated with the ROI metrics provided, use the results to populate the cost and benefit section in the In-Room Technology Minimum Viable Business Case Template.

MINIMUM VIABLE BUSINESS CASE

Risks & mitigation

Round out the Risks & Mitigation section in the minimum viable business case by leveraging the following sources:

  1. Trends report: When determining technology risks and mitigation methods, leverage the trends report’s analysis on trend risks and uncertainties for this initiative.
  2. General risks table: Consider the general risks of the proposed initiative to contextualize areas of concern and mitigation, using the following table of general risk terms:
General Risk Explanation Mitigation
Benefit Shortfall Risk that a project fails to meet the benefits stated in its business case.
  • Establish metrics to measure success of the proposed benefits.
  • Identify short-term benefits vs. long-term benefits.
Scope Creep Risk of uncontrolled change to a project’s scope.
  • Creation of a clear project schedule.
  • Set up clear change-control processes.
Budget Risk Risk of budget control issues such as cost overruns.
  • Use the hotel’s cost estimation procedures.
Resistance Risk that key individuals will actively inhibit the success of the project.
  • Identify the root cause of resistance.
  • Engage a senior champion of the initiative.
Technology Risk Risks such as service outages that disrupt the project.
  • Ensure technical competency of responsible staff.
  • Assign single ownership of key tasks.
Schedule Risk Risk due to the uncertainty of forward-looking estimates.
  • Execute based on shortest processing time or earliest due date.
Dependencies Risk that success is due to related tasks outside of the project responsibility.
  • Identify owner of dependent processes and establish regular channels of communication.
Stakeholder Risk Risks related to stakeholders fulfilling their commitments to the project.
  • Gauge their level of enthusiasm for the project.
  • Align the initiative with the stakeholder’s priorities.
  • Communicate the alignment through multiple channels.

MINIMUM VIABLE BUSINESS CASE

Prioritizing largest risks

Prioritize the largest risks to the guestroom initiative and consider the risks of the proposed initiative to contextualize areas of concern and mitigation

Top Risks to the Project Mitigation Tactics
Trend Report Risks Risk Mitigation
Risk Mitigation
General Risks Risk Mitigation
Risk Mitigation
Brainstorm possible ways these risks could specifically affect the trend initiative. Rank these specific risks to the project in order of magnitude and identify those that have the greatest possibility of derailing the initiative. Select the top three to five risks and discuss ways to mitigate either the possibility of the risk occurring or the effect of the risk should it occur.

Sample data: Document top risks and mitigation tactics

Key Risks Mitigation Tactics
  • Benefit shortfall could occur such that the initiative does not meet the expectations set in the business case.
  • Clearly set modest short-term goals and emphasize the intangible benefits of developing an understanding of the digital consumer as a target segment/demographic.
  • Scheduling risks are possible due to the uncertainty of forward-looking estimates.
  • Work with the expertise in the project management office.
  • Desired guest experience may not easily transmit in the hotel if the guests have privacy concerns due to data collection.
  • Develop an education training process for guests and staff to ensure transparency and integrity.
  • Desired guest experience may not transmit since many guests could feel the experience is ruined by a lack of staff interaction.
  • Ensure the hotel provides staff interactions as an additional alternative method for communication rather than using the device as a substitute.

The image is a section of the In-Room Technology Minimum Viable Business Case Template, with the Key Risks and Mitigation Tactics sections highlighted in yellow. They have been populated with the information from the table.

Activity: Gain support for your in-room technology initiative

1-3 hours

Input

  • Description of the initiative
  • Cost and benefit considerations identified
  • Project benefits
  • Scope, resource, and time reduction tactics

Output

  • Title, Concept, Rationale, Business Goals, Current State, Initiatives, Cost-Benefit Analysis, and Risks & Mitigation Tactics sections of the minimum viable business case

Materials

  • In-Room Technology Minimum Viable Business Case Template
  • This trends report
  • Business documents
  • Vendor research

Participants

  • CIO
  • Key business stakeholders
  • Other interested parties
  1. Download the In-Room Technology Initiative Workbook and In-Room Technology Minimum Viable Business Case Template to help develop your minimum viable business case.
  2. Review relevant information from the trends report, your hotel’s business documents, and vendor research to brainstorm and populate the following sections of the business case:
    • Title
    • Concept
    • Rationale
    • Business Goals, Current State, Initiatives
    • Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • Risks & Mitigation Tactics

Download the In-Room Technology Minimum Viable Business Case Template

MINIMUM VIABLE BUSINESS CASE

Gain support with stakeholders

  • The result of these steps is a holistic minimum viable business case that can be used to justify the initiative in a language your stakeholders will understand.
  • You have previously formed the audience to develop the case, now it’s time to present your case! It is important to articulate the context of each stakeholder and why the outcome is important to them.

Impacts:

Owner/Franchise

General Manager

Engineering

Housekeeping

Guest Services

Marketing

Illustration: This legend is shown throughout the trends report to help tailor the case for your audience as you’re developing it and to help choose which stakeholders to present to once it’s done.

Next step: Gain approval by scaling up with a full business case

  • Your minimum viable business case helped you to demonstrate the need for your solution and gathered evidence for the value of your solution. Now it is time to obtain approval to invest in its implementation. Use Info-Tech’s Business Case Template to assist with building the final business case.
  • Note that the expected cost or complexity of an innovative idea is directly proportional to the level of detail you will need to provide in the business case.

Next step: Establish a foresight capability for future trends and technologies

  • The future will bring more trends and technologies, making it pivotal that your hotel continues to establish itself as the disrupter, not the disrupted.
  • You must establish a structured approach to innovation management that considers external trends as well as internal processes.
  • Info-Tech’s Establish a Foresight Capability blueprint gives you the tools you need to effectively process signals in your environment, build an understanding of relevant trends, and turn this understanding into action.

Research Contributors and Experts

Kyle Zwaagstra

Account Manager Axxess Industries Inc.

Andy Hale

Vice President, Marketing Monscierge

Hannah Walker

In-House Designer Sinclair Holdings

Dana Daher

Senior Research Analyst, CIO Practice Info-Tech Research Group

Bryan Hammer

Vice President, IT Belmond

Jeff Fontenot

Vice President, Sales Monscierge

Ted Maulucci

President SmartONE Solutions

Larry Fretz

Vice President, Gaming & Hospitality Research Info-Tech Research Group

Anonymous

Director Delaware North

Kal MacDonald

Director of Business Operations Percipia

Anonymous

Manager University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Anonymous

Executive Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Michael Velasquez

Chief Executive Officer Percipia

David Berger

Chief Executive Officer Volara

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An industry strategic foresight trends report

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Authors

Monica Pagtalunan

Larry Fretz

Contributors

  • Kyle Zwaagstra, Account Manager, Axxess Industries Inc.
  • Bryan Hammer, Vice President of IT, Belmond
  • Andy Hale, Vice President of Marketing, Monscierge
  • Jeff Fontenot, Vice President of Sales, Monscierge
  • Kal MacDonald, Director of Business Operations, Percipia
  • Michael Velasquez, Chief Executive Officer, Percipia
  • Hannah Walker, In-House Designer, Sinclair Holdings
  • Ted Maulucci, President, SmartONE Solutions
  • David Berger, Chief Executive Officer, Volara
  • 3 anonymous contributors
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