In this first blog of the Smart Hospitality Networks series, we explore the latest trends in the hospitality industry and their effects on hotel networks
Without a doubt, this is the era of Smart Hospitality. Gartner and the Hospitality Technology Magazine say that a key technology trend for 2019 is to deliver highly integrated smart spaces, using automation and augmented intelligence with the help of the Internet of Things (IoT)*. This is true to a degree for all industries, and even more so for the hospitality industry.
We've had our look into the future ourselves. According to our recent hospitality industry technology trends survey, around 60 percent of hoteliers identify voice-enabled devices and artificial intelligence as the technologies with the most potential in the near-future. And in current hospitality budgets, guest Wi-Fi and smart TVs are the primary investments in guest-facing technologies in 2019, followed by customer mobile apps. In summary, guest Wi-Fi, mobility and in-room technology are still the baseline technological investments in the hospitality industry.
Connectivity, mobility and digital engagement, the three main pillars of digital transformation in the hospitality industry
What about the near-term future? By 2020, most of the digital engagement leaders in hospitality (88 percent) will have location-based systems in place and 45 percent of all hotels expect to have their first artificial intelligence and voice command system.
In order to enable this near future, hotels have to address several challenges today, which they shared with us. For 51 percent of hotels, two innovation adoption issues are emerging: integration with existing infrastructure and security concerns. These seem to be the main challenges besides network overload, as 73 percent of hoteliers believe that networks will be strained by guest streaming and generating multimedia content.
An overview of hoteliers' main challenges in digital transformation
Hotel businesses will grow smarter with new services from the cloud, big data analytics, bots and artificial intelligence. Smart rooms will become the guests' private space, offering cutting-edge technology able to make them feel at home. Outside the room, guests will expect to enjoy personalized and mobile services everywhere within the hotel premises.
And all of these new services depend on a solid, intelligent network. In this increasingly competitive landscape, where the guest experience is one of the top differentiators for hotels, the network must transform into an active player in delivering guest experiences. And enable value-add services capable of providing the hotels with additional revenues.
In this new Hospitality Networks blog series, our Hospitality network expert Ana Mata will explore how an adapted hotel Wi-Fi combined with location-based services, IoT and smart analytics can become a powerful loyalty tool and a source of new revenue. Let's start with a stellar hotel's wi-fi requirements.
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*Hospitality Technology Magazine - Lodging Tech Study 2019