For many restaurants, resorts and hotels, finding and retaining quality IT staffing can be challenging. Yet, technology is an integral part of how these businesses operate and some amount of IT is necessary. Innovators are constantly coming up with new digital solutions to make running hospitality organizations easier, faster and more profitable. This tech revolution has turned once imagined solutions into necessities that are transforming the industry. Without the right combination of solutions and staff, IT can translate to an under-performing business, high IT staff turn-over. Fortunately, cloud technology – such as Microsoft’s Azure – can help power hospitality workflows and optimize labor costs.
Every business application has its own deployment requirements and unique cloud migration path. And every business will have its own access needs and workflows. There isn’t a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to implementing or moving systems above property. Here are a few guidelines to consider before embarking on a cloud migration project.
- Fully utilize any in-house IT talent who can complement the cloud providers’ team of experts while ensuring management has sufficient data management and control. In-house staff have intricate knowledge about how the business operates, and cloud-based solutions free them up to better focus on technologies that are driving revenue and improving guest service.
- Thoroughly research your own requirements before determining your cloud strategy. It’s important to carefully study your existing IT infrastructure, needs and usage to determine if cloud migration is right for your operation. Some applications, including POS and PMS, can perform better in the cloud. It’s important to fine-tune the list of apps that should make the migration to achieve optimal cloud performance.
- Security is paramount. Ask prospective cloud solution providers to clearly define the security services it can deliver. These details should be clearly outlined in an SLA (Services Level Agreement). Make your expectations known to ensure the provider knows how they’re being measured and exactly what’s expected of them.
- Consider either hiring in-house technical talent or a third-party to provide guidance and make sure the contract with the cloud provider includes indemnification to protect the business, guests and investors. A provider with multi-layered security protocols provides more fail-safe measures that enhance the overall security of the business and your customers.
- If you are migrating existing applications, don’t get rid of old hardware too quickly. After migrating to the cloud, used hardware still has value. Consider a hardware exchange to recoup some IT budget.
The future holds great innovations and operators can choose the best technology for their unique business needs. We’re just beginning to harness the advantages of cloud-based solutions, which gives businesses the power to respond quickly to guest requests, safeguard confidential data and possibly even save labor costs all at once.