How Can IoT Bring a Change in the Hospitality Sector?
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
For entrepreneurs, any technological progress is always welcome. Evolution is inevitable and certainly, very necessary. Every such progress is driven by our ambition of living a simpler life. Humans like to ease their world and this fondness has brought about extreme expansion in the world of devices, increasing their efficiency and utility.
Hospitality is not a job, it’s a service. Hospitality industry always looks beyond incentives and works on the sole principle of prioritizing others’ comfort above our needs. Technology helps us do our work better and hospitality is one such industry where labour cannot be completely replaced by machine but both can work together to complement each other.
Internet of Things (IoT) And its Utility
Internet of Things or IoT is a recent concept in India. As the name suggests, inter-connecting devices through the web or some application or software are the basic idea here. Precisely, aiming at making our machines smarter and self-dependent, IOT can be one of the biggest boons to the hospitality industry. You’ll be surprised to know that the number of internets connected “things” already exceeded our population back in 2008. By 2020 this number is expected to reach 50 billion. A whopping $19 trillion is anticipated as cost-savings and profits from this investment. With the latest Internet address standard (IPv6), there are enough Internet addresses for every atom on the Earth, according to Cisco. This implies that management can actually organize their devices into as any smaller blocks they want to, increasing their efficiency. According to the sources, of all the businesses that chose to implement IoT, 94% have already seen a return on their IoT investments. Undoubtedly, if incorporated in the hospitality industry in the right way, IoT can prove itself to be a magician.
This industry is all about efficient organization. We deal in providing comfort to our clients; we participate in creating beautiful memories for them. Thus our work involves a firm sense of responsibility. If we, as hoteliers, seriously work towards implementing IoT in our respective businesses, we cannot imagine the kind of boom, the hospitality industry in India will undergo. IoT in hotels will bring about the following positive changes in our services:
Complete Personalization: One of the most basic expectations of guests is personalization. It is obvious that anyone would prefer services customized according to their needs and ease and it is our duty to provide the same. The concept of limited and default services is outdated. IoT can help hoteliers achieve guest personalization, much more easily. Connecting all the amenities and services, associated with a particular booking, to one application or device, can help us achieve our goal of personalization. When implemented strategically, guests would be able to control minor things such as air-conditioning of their rooms to major things, including entry to their rooms, through smartphones or tablets. This interconnection would also help the hotel management to understand the preferences of the guest and provide better services. In the case of re-visits by the guest, the hotel can make sure that the requirements of the guest are well taken care of, much before the guest actually checks in.
Better Monitoring: Every hotelier will surely agree to the fact that at times, there are mess ups on our part. Not because we are inefficient, but because “to err is human”. A hotel houses several rooms and during the peak seasons, at times we do fall short of keeping up to our commitments. Basically, when the staff to guest ratio goes up, making us incapable of monitoring every service and amenity for every room and guest. We miss out on “up to the second information” of our appliances and thus things fail to go as planned. IoT can solve this problem forever. If all devices and appliances are connected to a single software or device, or to a designated software, even a minor fault can’t go undetected. We would have complete information about the condition of our appliances and their operating status. In case of any unusual performance by any appliance, IoT would alert the staff on time so that the appliance can be repaired or replaced, in time. Not only does this help the guests help avoid unwanted hassles but also helps the hotel to save expenditure on new appliances, regularly, due to lack of maintenance.
Surveillance and Access Control: Previously, hotels handed out keys to the guests to access the rooms. With time, the key got replaced with key cards. But, it’s now time to make the procedure even easier for guests. If access to different rooms is connected to one designated device or software, things take a better shape. During check-in, guests can be logged into the application on their smartphones so that they can control the access to their rooms on their phones itself. Also, any kind of intrusion and trespassing can be easily avoided. IoT will also help to provide a safer environment for the guests. If all the surveillance devices are connected to one master device, the staff will get an instant alert of any unusual activity so that appropriate actions can be taken. Hoteliers will also be saved from hiring too many staff members. The technology will do the work of multiple labours, singlehandedly.
How does the Future Look Like?
We can vouch that the introduction of IoT in the working of a hotel, can prove to be a landmark in the hospitality industry. All of us should come together and adapt to this concept and technology for our own good. Hotels such as JW Marriott has already started incorporating IoT in their hotels. The investment might seem high end initially, but it’s worth it and sure to earn huge returns. Better facilities mean more guest satisfaction. When the guests are happy, your business is sure to flourish.
Like every other technology, IoT has its own set of problems but they are easily manageable. Since IoT is a form of networking, it’s prone to hacking. As the management, all we need to take care that our system remains protected against all kinds of malware and hacking viruses. Rest assured, a little sowing will yield a lot for us to reap.