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What Can Travel, Transportation, Hospitality & Logistics Expect in 2024?

IT trends in the Travel, Transportation, Hospitality and Logistics (TTHL) sectors for 2024 come down to one word: connectedness.

How often do we hear people say that the world’s getting smaller? 

Advancements in global travel and supply chains have created a connectedness that brings global cultures, products and countries together and makes the world seem smaller. So, it seems natural that IT trends in the Travel, Transportation, Hospitality and Logistics (TTHL) sectors for 2024 come down to one word: connectedness.

These four areas of connectedness will drive TTHL organizations this year and beyond: 

1. Connectedness with Customers.

Customer experience and continuous engagement have been key trends for all business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) sectors, but especially for TTHL companies. Efforts to improve customer experience and continuous engagement drive almost all IT trends today. Organizations will continue to leverage technology to improve traveler experience throughout the journey, including pre-travel (planning and booking), during travel and post-travel. They will do this across three dimensions:

  • Customer journey mapping ensures organizations are using the right channels to reach customers with the right experience at the right time. This includes emotion mapping that, for example, allows companies to recognize when a customer might experience anxiety while planning and booking a holiday. TTHL organizations are leveraging user experience (UX) principles to create a customer journey that converts that anxiety into a positive emotion. 
  • Systems of intelligence and loyalty platforms allow organizations to harness data and AI for hyper-personalization. To be able to reach the customer with the right experience, organizations must integrate structured and unstructured data to drive meaningful client insights. Loyalty systems help organizations drive valuable conversions and continued loyalty with the brand, mapped to the traveler persona.
  • Systems of continuous engagement provide multiple channels so organizations can offer seamless, friction-free, integrated experiences. Examples include biometrics as a part of the check-in experience, AR/VR (and metaverse) for try-before-you-buy use cases, mobile channels for notifications and rebooking, and chatbots for ease of booking. Used well, these systems give organizations positive ways to engage with the customer.

2. Connectedness within the Technology Landscape.

TTHL sectors are plagued with monolithic legacy applications and infrastructure. Though these systems are stable, they struggle to push products, features and changes to customers in a timely fashion and they create complexity when they need to communicate with each other. They are also very expensive to maintain and support, leading to a large tech debt for most organizations. As a result, we have seen growth in cloud migrations in the form of IaaS, SaaS and PaaS. We also have seen growth in the API economy as organizations move to services and API-based models that create integration across the tech landscape. This has in turn led to growth of new operating models and renewed focus on the Agile product-led approaches DevOps and DevSecOps.

3. Connectedness with the Ecosystem.

Subsectors of the TTHL industry have been deeply impacted by disrupted supply chains, especially in logistics and transportation-related areas. While AI will be leveraged to solve multiple problems across the landscape, many organizations are planning to use AI to solve for track and trace, shortest-route algorithm, dynamic routing, automated builds of unit load device (ULD) pallets and optimal loading. Improved transparency and visibility across the supply chain – from manufacturing to multi-modal transportation to warehouses/stores/consumers – will pave the way for connected systems that leverage edge devices and digital threads and produce data that can feed AI-driven operational efficiencies. This will spur intersectional growth in IT and OT innovation.

4. Connectedness with Our Planet, Values and Ethos.

The imperatives of climate change and the need for TTHL organizations to take a hard look at carbon footprints have led to an acceleration of ESG initiatives in the sector. Enterprises are using technology across all these dimensions, including environment and sustainability, social, DEI and governance. This is not just driven by compliance and regulatory demands but also by customers who want to buy from brands that match their values. Some examples of technology solutions to address ESG goals include resource optimization for water, fuel and energy, new hybrid working models, optimization of processes, improved employee safety and security, and increased visibility and transparency across supply chains.

Any discussion of 2024 trends must include AI and GenAI, which will play an important role in each of these four areas of connectedness, as mentioned above. TTHL businesses will use these technologies to improve customer experience and engagement, create visibility across the eco-system and industry landscape, reduce their carbon footprint and boost employee safety and security. GenAI, in particular, will be leveraged to hyper-customize travel to an individual traveler’s needs through personalized marketing, individualized shipping and virtual concierge services. A key growth area will be the use of AI/GenAI to provide rich employee experiences by simplifying key HR processes with digital assistants and providing simulations-based training to make employees more proficient at their jobs. AIOps will gain traction to bring greater operational predictability and efficiency to back-end systems.

While travel will continue make the world smaller, technology-led innovation will continue to enable enterprises to provide unique, friction-free and differentiated experiences, optimize operations and achieve a net-zero impact on the environment.

About the Author

As the leader of the ISG Travel, Transportation, Hospitality & Logistics (TTHL) business, Pratibha leverages nearly three decades of technology, sales and P&L experience serving clients across the globe. She offers clients intricate knowledge of the imperatives facing the industry and what it takes for organizations to succeed, with proven expertise in digital technologies and deep understanding of outsourcing in the TTHL industry.

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