Close the Innovation Gap
In the restaurant industry, despite the massive impact of technology on modern operations, there exists a disconnect between how innovative a business wants to be, and how willing they are to innovate through technology. In HT's 2012 Restaurant Technology Study, this is illustrated in the gap between companies that identify themselves as business innovators (60%) and those that see themselves as technology innovators (31%). The gap — the missing 29% — believes in their ability to innovate as a business, but undervalues the importance of technology to that mission.
Further evidence of this trend is shown in the percentage of restaurant organizations that have a formalized approach to technology innovation: just 38% of respondants in our study leverage IT steering committees to make decisions, and even fewer (14.5%) have a reference to strategic IT planning as a part of their mission statements.
As a part of my outreach to connect with IT leaders, I often scan the "about our executives" pages on the websites of major hospitality organizations. All too often, IT leaders are omitted from pages that include bios about C- and VP-level executives from marketing, finance, operations, real estate, franchise development, and human resources. If your organization has a CIO or VP of technology, acknowledge the department’s impact on overall business innovation. The most successful companies will be those that close this innovation gap.