Updated: Aug 10
Innovative digital transformation supports cost-effective processes for hotels. By its core most digital technology today provides the possibilities for effective gains and consumer intimacy. Many hotels today struggle or find digital transformation intimidating
Digital transformations are often seen as complex. The mindset and current organization of hotels are often hesitant to commit to a digital transformation process. Many are stuck in an ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it mentality.
As a result of this, I will share 5 cost-effective steps to start a new innovative digital transformation shift that will open the digital front door at your hotel. I created these steps to help make digital transformation a positive experience for hotels.
Let’s get started!
First, it is important to understand that digital transformation is not so much about technology as it is about understanding human behavior and patterns.
Many hotels have not yet realized the full impact of investing in a digital transformation process. Hotel owners, management companies, and leadership teams spend more time assessing the risks and pain points.
The digital transformation process started long before COVID-19 hit. COVID-19 made the majority of consumers embrace and adapt to digital overnight. The reality is that today’s consumer behavior and patterns now reflect this radical overnight digital transformation.
Hotels must understand this else direct bookings will become a lost battle. We can’t get into a situation where urgency becomes the primary driver for digital transformation. That will end up comprising most of the hotel’s digital efforts and make owners wonder why their digital investments are not delivering as intended.
The good news is that I am providing you with 5 innovative and cost-effective steps at no cost to get you started with your hotel’s digital transformation process. These steps focus on the importance of moving your hotel towards big goals and processes and include planning, relationship, and team-building, concerns prevention and risk assessment, and even health and recreational activities.
it is important to understand that with the digital transformation you don’t have to do everything, but you have to do something in a context that adds leaps of value.
1. Work as a team, play as a team
Digital transformational leadership
Digital transformational leadership represents a new beginning for hotels. New markets, customers, and employees have now gone digital. It is time for hotel leaders to adapt to a new reality. Digital transformational leadership focuses on what acts and activities leaders need to undertake to boost their teams’ motivation and the hotel’s overall operational results, not on who leaders need to be.
Embrace and involve employees who face hotel guests and customers daily and ask for their direct input on how their leaders hold them back and what those leaders could do to help them best serve customers and become key team players.
By engaging employees in defining new leadership role models that will enable them to thrive, and when those processes are connected to day-to-day operations against which they need to perform at the hotel, they’re highly motivated and performance will increase.
Digital transformational leadership is defined by competence and the ability to adapt.
“Digital transformational leadership focuses on what acts and activities leaders need to undertake to boost their teams’ motivation and the hotel overall operational results, not on who leaders need to be.”
Consumers today are looking for brands to lead the way and they want brands to create change with them, not just for them. A digital transformation process today represents a cultural change, and you have to start building relationships and making friends first.
Today hotels need to adapt to a new reality that is better prepared for new unknown challenges and that builds around a positive and high-value employee experience. The digital transformation process is a unique opportunity for hotels to co-create a new and bright future with employees.
We know that higher wages are necessary for many hotels that are stuck in a vicious cycle of labor challenges, high turnovers, bad operations, bad customer service, low productivity, and high costs. But higher wages alone are not enough to break this vicious cycle. Unless accompanied by a smarter digital transformation process, higher wages will likely reduce a hotel’s revenue and will not resolve any of the current challenges.
Co-creating your hotel’s digital transformation process with employees is an essential success factor. Studies and research have shown that brands that did not include employees in the process either failed or had a low success rate.
“Co-creating your hotel’s digital transformation process with employees is an essential success factor.”
TIP: The first step is all about choosing the right place to start your digital transformation process.
2. Always be innovating
Innovation tends to be technology-driven, market pioneering, or futuristic, often shooting beyond what employees and customers are ready to accept. This is why your hotel’s digital transformation should focus on value innovation in collaboration with your employees.
Value tends to focus on value creation on an incremental scale, something that improves value but is not sufficient to make your hotel stand out in the marketplace to have a good view of what your hotel is offering now.
Value innovation requires a new mindset that focuses on creating new opportunities within uncontested digital markets and also improves and offers new values to existing markets. Many hotels today tend to make the introduction of technology more complex than it needs to be. Value innovation is all about mindset, creativity, and flexibility through cost-effective solutions.
Through value innovation, hotels can shape new conditions for employees and customers. Value innovation will help your hotel get a better understanding of what the digital consumer wants.
“Value innovation is all about mindset, creativity, and flexibility through cost-effective solutions.”
Tip: Get a good view of your hotel’s current digital standing. Start focus on a digital growth mindset in context with value innovation.
3. Work for the great good
Hotels collect, produce, maintain and share large amounts of digital data. For most hotels, digital data has been stored in data silos. A data silo is a set of data that is controlled by one department and isolated from the rest of the organization. And data in data silos is stored in a standalone system that is incompatible with other data sets in the organization.
Data silos served their purpose at a time when consumers were not accustomed to real-time data.
Today data lakes are a new and smarter approach to managing and supporting information like real-time data by storing all pieces of information in one single interface.
The success of data lakes lies in the knowledge of actionable data to achieve the desired outcome for hotels, and access to the right data to achieve this outcome.
Some of the many important advantages of data lakes will include;
More secure data layers will help hotels protect critical and sensitive information
Optimizing the workflow by identifying and replacing faulty data sets
Enabling real time decisions through the scalability of data
Facilitating faster user insight
Identifies and processes new datasets quicker
With an agile approach to data lakes, hotels will initiate a process that works for the greater good. An agile approach includes discovery and solutions improvements in collaboration with the hotel team and their end-users (customers). This represents a dynamic and flexible process that will enable hotels to adapt to new customer behaviors and patterns.
Data lake technology today is cost-effective and adjusted accordingly to national and international regulations of data flow.
“An agile approach includes discovery and solutions improvements in collaboration with the hotel team and their end-users (customers).”
Tip: Start imagining where your hotel could be. Discover pain points with current technology, and then set out a new innovative agile process.
4. Collaborate and scale assets
A successful digital transformation formula is very simple;
Digital Transformation = Digital Tribe + Collective Digital Experience
No doubt that digital transformation will require some investments. And to achieve success with the digital transformation it is critical to focus on people and process changes. Collaborating with your hotel team and customers is essential to get a better understanding of what you need to do to continuously improve to serve your digital community better.
Digital transformation focuses on processes that will embrace more sustainable, inclusive, and diverse solutions and experience offers. With collaboration, hotels need to start creating new functions like digital experience ambassadors. These are ambassadors that work for and with the hotel.
Digital experience ambassadors will help your hotel with breaking down digital silos and ensure a smoother digital transformation process. The collaboration will help your hotel scale technology and make smarter cost-effective investments that are aligned with what people are seeking to achieve today.
“Collaborating with your hotel team and customers is essential to get a better understanding of what you need to do to continuously improve to serve your digital community better.”
Tip: Start collaborating with your employees and customers to help you identify the most effective way to implement a digital transformation process at your hotel.
5. Evaluate and optimize
The core of digital transformation is to create cost-effective solutions that simplify current digital transaction processes. This will help the hotel to delegate current workflow into areas where it matters. Digital transformation is a process that will come with some challenges and concerns.
Certain service areas will become automated. And we want to implement quality control in collaboration with employees and customers that allows the hotel to easily evaluate the effectiveness of this part of the process. It is important to get a good picture of what is working and what is not working.
We want a transparent and flexible digital transformation process. As your hotel has a better picture of what is working and what is not working then it is time to start optimizing the processes. Digital transformation is not all-in on technology investments, but it is a process that will exploit new technology and strategies that will create more effective digital solutions for your hotel.
“Digital transformation is not an all-in on technology investments, but it is a process that will exploit new technology and strategies that will create more effective digital solutions for your hotel.”
Tip: Rapidly test your digital transformation process. Start formalizing and launching new technology through collaboration.
ARE MORCH - Founder and Digital Transformation Coach Are, is a digital transformation coach helping hotels open their digital front door, reimagine their processes and culture, and transform experiences in a fast-paced world without competing with online travel agencies! In his free time, Are and his wife transformed abused and abandoned horses providing them a better opportunity to do what they were meant to do. “To me hospitality and digital transformation are art. It is like a painter that uses a combination of colors to create a picture. And we will all have a unique perspective on how we view the finished product. The key is to bring out the commonalities that tell us that this is an experience we want to share with others.”