Technology in hotels has progressed far beyond simply providing Internet access in guest rooms and public areas. Hotel guests in 2022 expect to see high speed WiFi, contactless payments using NFC technology, smart devices in bedrooms and mobile apps for a contactless check in.
And for hotel operators, technology has become a key tool in keeping the business running smoothly. Housekeeping, reservations and hotel operations can all be streamlined by implementing technology that offers greater efficiency and fewer errors.
As the hospitality industry starts to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, you are probably keeping a close eye on your business costs. You know that you need to keep your hotel IT systems up to date but you also need to keep your costs down.
Working with a specialist hotel IT support provider is one way to ensure that your IT systems are running smoothly, efficiently and in a cost effective way. So here are some of the areas where you may be able to reduce the cost of hotel technology in 2022.
If, like many hotel operators, you have contracts with multiple Internet providers then this is certainly an area where you may be able to find opportunities for cost reductions.
For instance, you might currently be using one provider for your telephone communications, another for your Internet TV services and a separate connection for your high speed Internet access.
However, in 2022, Internet technology now allows you to consolidate your services into one single line. You can then use virtual networks to provide TV, telephone and guest WiFi services and use VPN technology to connect securely to external infrastructure.
Consolidating your Internet connections can reduce your monthly outgoings and you may even find that you get a better service for less than you were originally paying.
Outsourcing IT support
Replacing your in-house IT team with outsourced hotel IT support can help to improve your IT service delivery and employee satisfaction while also providing considerable cost savings.
Handling your IT support in-house requires you to hire and train your IT team, providing cover for holiday and sick leave as well as covering the expenses associated with PAYE and payroll. You will also have to cover the cost of IT purchases and upgrades together with unexpected maintenance bills which can make budgeting difficult.
Outsourced hotel IT support removes some of these costs entirely and the regular monthly bill makes budgeting for your hotel IT costs much easier. You will be able to draw on the skills of a larger, more experienced team and can scale services up and down as your business’ requirements change.
Another of the benefits of outsourcing IT support is the wider knowledge, experience and skill set that comes with a larger, more specialised team. They are also more likely to be able to keep up to date with the latest hotel technology and industry best practice.
Now is also a good time to review your telephone line infrastructure. The first step is to take a look at the lines that you currently have so that you can establish exactly what each line does. You may find that it’s easier and more cost effective to hire an external consultant to do this. They will be able to look at your current set up and consolidate the number of lines that you need, helping to reduce your rental costs.
If you haven’t had your call rates reviewed recently, it’s also worth approaching your telecom providers for a review. The opening up of the telephone market has resulted in the cost of calls falling, so this could be another area for significant cost savings.
And finally you might be able to reduce the number of room telephones that your hotel needs. Since the pandemic, many hotel operators are trying to reduce the number of touchpoints in guest rooms. Providing an app for their guests’ own mobile phones allows them to book services, contact reception or check out without needing to use a room telephone at all.
The PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) is a regulation used to secure payments and protect merchants from fraud. It applies to every customer transaction that is made using a debit or credit card.
An additional fee is applied by your bank every time you process a payment that doesn’t comply with PCI DSS. This is generally a small percentage but the amounts can add up very quickly when you consider the number of daily transactions that your hotel makes.
In addition to this, you may need to certify your compliance through a QSA (Qualified Security Assessor) if your data is compromised. This process can take up to two weeks to complete at a cost of up to £850 per day.
Choosing to outsource IT support can help to ensure that your hotel meets PCI compliance standards, reducing the risk of a data breach and non-compliance fines.
Privacy and cybersecurity are vitally important to the hotel industry in 2022. Hotels hold a lot of personal data for their guests which makes them an obvious target for malware attacks and other forms of cybercrime.
Hotels are required to comply with the requirements of the UK GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Failure to do so can result in data protection breaches and a fine from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
If your hotel is not currently meeting GDPR requirements, it’s a good idea to hire a hotel IT specialist to look at your data processes and systems. They will be able to advise you on the necessary improvements and help you to put them in place.
This will not only help to reduce the risk of a data breach but if the worst happens, being able to show that you have attempted to meet GDPR requirements may reduce the size of your fine
Move to the cloud
Switching to a cloud-based PMS (Property Management System) is an excellent way to cut hotel IT costs while also improving efficiency and providing a better guest experience.
Compared to an on-premise PMS, the cloud based option has the benefits of lower upfront investment and lower ongoing costs. The regular monthly payment for cloud services is easier for budgeting purposes and the team in charge of your outsourced IT support services will be able to set up and maintain the system.
A cloud Hotel PMS allows you to automate your daily operations such as reservations and housekeeping. This reduces the number of repetitive and unproductive tasks that your staff have to handle manually and reduces the risk of errors occurring, which can also result in further savings.
As you can see, there are many ways to reduce your hotel costs for IT in 2022. With 15 years’ experience in providing hotel IT solutions, a team of highly experienced IT specialists and 24/7/365 support, Median IT is ideally placed to help you maximise your cost savings. So why not get in touch with Median IT to see how our specialist hotel IT support team can help?