Is Big Tech struggling to meet the agility demands of industry change?

We live in unprecedented times. Before Brexit, Covid, the war in Europe, the cost of living crisis, record inflation and rock bottom consumer confidence, life was positively rosey.

Pre the global turmoil, the QR code and the masks most businesses had stable P&L’s, intuitive forecasts and budgets and a stable work force. Things couldn’t have been better.

With the onset of chaos however I know from my own experience what the full exhaustive meaning of Pivot Fatigue means. Government decisions seemed to appear as another torpedo in hospitality whilst your own operation needed to be super flexible to cope with both internal and external pressures.

Part of this flexibility has to include how tech works within your business, can it do what you want it to and do you use 100% of its capability? You definitely don’t need any bloated unyielding costs in your P&L.

For 10 years running up to the recent global chaos Big Tech companies consulted with industry and then delivered a one size fits all solution. I wasn’t aware during this period of any hotel/business fully utilising 100% of the tech, but it covered all bases and for the tech companies that was vital as someones 20% use was another users 20% usage. Few that we are aware of have ever maxed out these systems. And they are not inexpensive.

Roll on global chaos and the scrutiny on Big Tech has never been greater. For example, can they manage QR codes, thousands of individual room service menus going into the cloud, expanded and very individual digitalisation needs of the business, and sufficient support to assist hotel teams? 

The demand that we’ve experienced to cope with payroll inflation and a shortage of staff has left us with a variety of solutions ready to go. However it’s really telling that Big Tech appears reluctant to assist with connectivity, especially PMS companies, unless we get over a huge financial cost hurdle to fill their gap! The reason for this is that over the last 3 years the world has changed and hotels need more diversity of operational systems than we think heavy Big Tech can keep up with. I feel their wish is that things will settle down and revert back to pre 2021 predictability but our view is that this is unlikely. We don’t think as it stands that these Big Tech systems can be reengineered quickly enough to meet the demands of the fluent current climate.

If you’re happy with whatever functionality you do have but need deeper specificity in your processes, there are loads of small companies out there (including us), who can assist and fill the gap.

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