Strategic Shift to Improve HTNG and Industry Alignment
The biggest difference between HTNG and other associations in hospitality technology is our workgroups. Serving as the heart and soul of HTNG, these groups meet regularly to discuss emerging technology and related challenges for the industry and to develop solutions, best practices or standards to address them.
For many years, HTNG leveraged two distinct groups of members to form workgroups around these issues. These two groups (forums) focused separately on infrastructure and software due to a natural separation of topics and members aligning around one or the other. At that time, HTNG workgroups predominantly linked to just one of these forums. HTNG recognized that the business of IT has blended, so a new structure was recently created to better align strategic concepts for the industry.
In 2017, HTNG received input from its most valuable resource, its members, and identified the greatest challenges and opportunities today in hospitality technology. These areas were divided into “Strategic Pillars,” which define the key priorities the industry is focusing on to make their companies more successful or customers more satisfied. HTNG’s Strategic Pillars (http://www.htng.org/page/Strategic_Pillars) are: Quality of the Guest Experience, Staff Recruiting and Engagement, Adopting Brand Standards, Modernizing Infrastructure, Security, and Operational Excellence. These pillars now create an overarching umbrella for workgroups to spread across multiple themes.
Furthermore, HTNG established a Global Strategy Team to bring focus and attention to the Strategic Pillars and align workgroups to these higher strategic concepts. The elected Strategy Chairs and appointed Strategic Advisors of each pillar lead HTNG’s Global Strategy Team to help increase progress and performance of the group. The primary goal of the Global Strategy Team is to bring in line these industry focuses to all HTNG members and to have a forum to provide workgroup updates.
HTNG’s Strategic Pillars and their mission objectives are defined below:
Quality of the Guest Experience: Increase guest satisfaction by providing hotel guests with cutting-edge technologies and personalized content. Some solutions include: WiFi, BYOC/D (Bring Your Own Content/Device), IoT, CRM, mobile check-in and lobby check-in. Many of these technologies focus on reducing costs, improving efficiencies and enabling staff to connect more directly with guests. These technologies are used to help
improve the quality of the guest experience at a hospitality venue.
Staff Recruiting and Engagement: Bring greater awareness of IT in the hospitality industry and encourage future generations of the industry to consider this department as a career path. This pillar will explore the use of technology to increase staff engagement to make staff members’ lives easier and to generate greater productivity.
Adopting Brand Standards: Help brands champion standards to owners and operators, increase penetration of each brand’s strategic solutions at properties, return performance metrics in a measurable way and ensure solutions are being created with a multinational view. A company’s collective impact of strategy, investment, effective operations and brand strength should all add up to success.
Modernizing Infrastructure: Provide insights into emerging technologies to help ease the
difficulty of modernizing infrastructure. Infrastructure is key to the success of an overall technology strategy, and evaluating available options is one of the biggest challenges facing hoteliers today.
Security: Build a common understanding about what needs to be protected, the risks in lack of protection, the threats against hotels and strategies to safegaurd them. The hospitality industry needs to look beyond simply being compliant with existing policies and target being secure in a pragmatic way, considering the risks and the costs
Operational Excellence: Give operational stakeholders the ability to measure whether a solution makes a positive, neutral or negative influence on a hospitality venue through a framework including the evaluation of sustainability, cost savings, staff retention and satisfaction, brand goal attainment and more.