Emerging Technology in Hospitality Business

Summary

This report dwells upon the current strategies related to information systems management and the way these methods are utilized at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai. The proper management of information systems is one of the factors contributing to the effective performance of hospitality companies. These organizations try to meet customers’ needs that include mobility, flexibility, comfort, safety, and entertainment.

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Jumeirah Beach Hotel effectively caters to its guests’ needs and wants. The company has the necessary software that ensures successful management of data related to personal information, booking, preferences, and feedback. However, the hotel could also benefit from the development and implementation of new strategies that are mainly related to mobile technology. This report includes an analysis of the most effective practices and provides some recommendations to address existing gaps.

Introduction

Traveling has become a part of people’s lives as millions of people go to new places to see the world, seek new experiences, or do business. Dubai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Middle East, and the hospitality business is one of the government’s priorities. Luxury hotels can be regarded as a landmark of the city as Dubai amazes its visitors with such remarkable spots as Burj Al Arab or Atlantis the Palm.

The Jumeirah Group, a Dubai-based international hospitality company, is one of the leaders in the industry. The balance of luxury, comfort, and technology has made this hotel popular among Dubai visitors and residents. It is noteworthy that technological advances have become a considerable competitive advantage in the hospitality industry and companies benefit from the incorporation of information system (IS), e-commerce, and even robotics. This report includes an analysis of the technologies employed in the tourism industry, as well as their use at Jumeirah Beach Hotel (Dubai), and some recommendations for further development.

Literature Review

Information and communication technologies (ICT) provide people with various opportunities in all the spheres of their life including traveling. Hospitality companies have utilized sophisticated ISs to ensure effective data management and make their guests’ stay more comfortable (Ramos, Rodrigues & Rodrigues 2015). ICTs are instrumental in managing customer’s data including reservations, personal data, charges, and the like (Hua 2016).

Hua (2016) conducted a review of the existing literature on the use and benefits of technologies in tourism and found that companies’ performance improved and revenues increased due to the utilization of e-commerce tools and ICTs. Numerous analytic software products enable hospitality hoteliers to study their clients’ preferences regarding tourist packages, favorite destinations, and routes, popular services, as well as come up with new offers to create a larger value.

Major Advances in the Hospitality Industry and Innovations at Jumeirah Beach Hotel (Dubai)

Technological Advances in Hospitality Industry

Organizations operating in the sphere of tourism can use technology to market their products and services. Hua (2016) emphasizes that e-commerce is one of the most promising areas that ensure organizations’ competitive advantage if used properly. Social media can be regarded as almost a limitless source of information for marketing professionals who collect data and develop various strategies to promote brands, products, and services.

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Neuhofer and Buhalis (2014) claim that e-commerce is a potent platform for co-creation as modern customers are becoming active users and co-creators of products and services. The analysis of search inquiries, services used, social media posts, as well as feedback from clients, equips marketing specialists with valuable insights into their guests’ preferences, needs, and wants. Neuhofer and Buhalis (2014) stress that co-creation is key to gaining a competitive advantage in the contemporary hospitality business.

Globalization and advances in technology let people access information concerning products and services and purchase them within seconds with little attention to geography. The hospitality industry benefits from the prevalence of these trends considerably as various ISs enables companies to provide information about available products and services to millions of potential customers.

Ramos, Rodrigues, and Rodrigues (2015) state that such instruments as Internet Distribution Systems, also referred to as Electronic Distribution Systems, as well as Alternative Distribution Systems, makes the data necessary for booking available for all Internet users. Hotels can distribute information on various packages and special offers that are instantly accessed by travel websites, reservation platforms, and travelers.

One of the most promising areas for further development and integration is the augmented reality that can expand travelers’ experiences significantly. Kobres (2018) claims that augmented reality can help hotel managers to route guests to certain locations or simply make their stay more enjoyable or memorable. For instance, Holiday Inn used an application that enabled the customers to see sports celebrities’ virtual representations in the hotel during the 2012 Olympics. Biometric authentication is another emerging trend that can be effectively utilized in the hospitality industry (Kobres 2018). Customers will not need identity cards, their devices, or other items to use services, which will make their stay more comfortable.

Software Applications Supporting Business Intelligence and Business Operations

Mobile technology is associated with a plethora of opportunities for the tourism industry. Customers tend to use their mobile devices to search and share information. Hence, mobile-based technologies should be effectively incorporated into existing information systems. Jung, (Sunny) Kim, and Farrish (2014) note that hotels and resorts offer free Wi-Fi zones for their guests’ convenience. Moreover, numerous applications developed for different mobile devices exist. For instance, guests of some hotels can use their smartphones to unlock their rooms instead of using conventional cards. Booking and hotel-specific mobile applications make people’s holiday more pleasant.

Mastorakis et al. (2014) stress that electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM) should not be confined to the use of computer-based or mobile applications. The researchers have created an interactive application that turns digital television into an effective e-CRM tool (see fig. 1). People watching a television program saw simple questions on their screens and could participate in surveys with the help of their remote controls (Mastorakis et al. 2014). This application is instrumental in collecting data related to customers’ preferences, needs, and their feedback.

An interactive application is used to enhance e-CRM
Fig. 1. An interactive application is used to enhance e-CRM (Mastorakis et al. 2014).

Jumeirah Beach Hotel, one of the top luxury hotels in Dubai, also employs advanced technologies to support its core operations and business intelligence. The company under consideration can be characterized by successful Electronic Distribution System management and the use of sophisticated ISs that ensure the correct flow of data. As far as recent novelties are concerned, the organization launched a mobile booking website that contributed to the increase in booked revenue by 280% (Jumeirah Group unveils new mobile booking website 2016).

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This platform makes the booking process easy and convenient for modern travelers who often use mobile devices to book their trips and holidays. The organization pays specific attention to its customers’ data confidentiality and security. One of the instruments to enhance information security is encryption. Jumeirah Group utilizes Transport Layer Security (TLS) to achieve the highest standards of data security. The company stores information using servers as well as cloud-based systems.

Best Practices

The organization under analysis often enters partnerships to develop and implement advanced IS technologies. For example, Jumeirah Group worked in partnership with Google to come up with a virtual platform for users to book, search for information about services and products, as well as share opinions (Jumeirah Group collaborates with Google 2015). This collaboration resulted in the development of JumeirahTM Inside that provides the company’s customers with new opportunities and experiences related to booking or exploring a hotel (see fig. 2). Jumeirah employees worked in cross-functional groups with the personnel of Google to develop the platform.

The implementation of the software was completed by these teams as well. At present, Jumeirah’s IT specialists manage the system and train new employees. Training is an indispensable part of the implementation of ISs and applications. The company’s employees have access to training programs related to many spheres, but information technologies are a priority.

The company’s new mobile application
Fig. 2. The company’s new mobile application (Jumeirah Group collaborates with Google 2015).

IS Department’s Resources Planning and Management

Effective IS management is one of the factors that contribute to Jumeirah Group’s recognition as a leading player in the hospitality industry. The company utilizes advanced technologies to maintain its competitive advantage and uses successful strategies to manage its IS resources. For instance, a top-down/bottom-up approach (combined with time-tracking instruments) is adopted, which implies the exchange of information across organizational levels. The company has the management of its own resources system that helps employees to manage resources and projects. Regular updates are instrumental in the implementation of resources leveling that assists in identifying the gaps or areas where resources are used ineffectively.

As mentioned above, data security is one of the organization’s top priorities, so Jumeirah Group utilizes information systems that are properly encrypted and managed. Apart from the use of the corresponding software, the company invests in employees’ training considerably. Detailed guidelines are developed for the personnel, and the staff has regular workshops and discussions of the most urgent issues related to data management and its security.

One of the methods to safeguard information security is the provision of different types of access to the staff. Employees who have access to the company’s information systems have their login and passwords. The passwords are regularly changed to avoid any breach. The IT specialists developed different channels of corporate communication including electronic mail and instant messenger, which ensures the quick dissemination of information and data sharing. Employees are discouraged to use social networks during their working hours if it is not a part of their responsibilities. The staff is also instructed regarding the use of files from unreliable sources or unidentified addressees.

Another important aspect regarding information systems and their management is related to ethical and legal issues. Again, training is regarded as a key to employees’ remarkable performance. The company has ethical conduct guides that include the standards concerning the ethical conduct of data users. Social and legal issues are highlighted in different guidelines provided to the staff. Employees discuss various real-life situations and their experiences during regular meetings where new standards are often developed and incorporated into the organizational culture.

Results

The analysis of the IS management within Jumeirah Beach Hotel indicates that the company utilizes some of the most effective strategies to manage data. The use of mobile technologies can be regarded as a promising area that can boost travelers’ interest in the hotel. Jung, (Sunny) Kim, and Farrish (2014) emphasize the benefits of utilizing mobile technologies in the hospitality industry. Booking is only one of the numerous possibilities that have to be employed to remain competitive.

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People use their mobile devices to purchase items, search data, communicate, or even start their cars. These devices have become an integral part of travelers’ life as they help tourists to reach new destinations and take control over their holidays. Another valuable achievement is the organization’s ability to collaborate in the sphere of information systems. Companies are often reluctant and unable to form close partnerships that imply the use of their current ISs. However, Jumeirah Group collaborated with Google, which led to the implementation of an innovative system.

One of the most remarkable strengths associated with the company’s focus on data security is training. The organization has its software and systems that safeguard information and ensure its efficient management. The performance in the sphere of information technology is closely linked to human resources training. Employees receive extensive training that results in sound data management. Importantly, cross-functional teams work on the development and implementation of new software and systems. Likewise, training is provided in cross-functional teams, which helps in the identification of possible gaps and their elimination promptly.

Discussion

This study sheds light on certain achievements, as well as weaknesses, related to the IS management in Jumeirah Beach hotel. These insights can become the foundation for further research and development of new strategies and methods of managing data. First, it is necessary to emphasize that the company’s strategic management related to the information system is rather effective as it involves all the most important aspects.

The organization is committed to innovating, revealing the highest performance, and meeting the established ethical standards. These are key components of successful operation in the tourism business. This research also unveils the benefits of proper IS management including IT and IS resources planning and management. Jumeirah Group has sophisticated software, hardware, and systems that ensure the convincing performance of the entire organization. This analysis displays the effectiveness of the strategies employed, hence, it is advisable to maintain this approach.

Nevertheless, certain gaps have been identified as well, which is another useful implication of the present study. It is essential to consider these weaknesses and develop corresponding strategies to address them. First, it is critical to make more effective use of mobile technologies, which will open up new opportunities. For example, mobile applications can be introduced to collect data. Digital television can become another channel of communication between the hotel and the customer. Augmented reality should become a part of the guests’ experience when staying at Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

One of the primary objectives is to make the use of mobile devices comfortable, but not overwhelming. Although more and more guests are using mobile devices extensively or even excessively, many people still prefer more traditional ways to handle their holidays. Kobres (2018) states that technology-free hotels are likely to emerge as some people would want to abandon their devices for a certain period. These methods and tactics can be employed in a variety of ways at Jumeirah Beach Hotel and other facilities of Jumeirah Group.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is possible to consider some lessons to be learned from this study. First, the implementation of such studies is crucial for organizations due to their potential impact on companies’ performance. The analysis of current strategies and methods should be implemented regularly to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, it is pivotal to conduct a review of the existing literature on the matter to learn about novelties in the sphere of the hospitality industry and information systems management. For instance, the excellent performance of Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the absence of legal or ethical issues associated with this facility can be seen as a mark of the efficiency of the utilized approach.

Another lesson to be learned is associated with the way innovations are introduced in such international organizations as the Jumeirah Group. Jumeirah Beach Hotel is one of the top facilities of the group, so it is but natural that the best practices are employed there. It is noteworthy that innovation is one of the pillars of the organization’s strategy and philosophy, but the implementation of technological advances is not as rapid as it could be.

The company utilizes strategies that have already proved to be effective and tested by others in the industry. However, in the modern business world, changes are likely to occur at a higher pace, which will force companies to accommodate faster. Therefore, it can be important to consider new tactics associated with the introduction of innovative services and products, as well as business practices.

Recommendations

Based on the facts provided above, it is possible to come up with a set of recommendations aimed at improving business operations within the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

  1. The organization should develop and implement mobile technologies aimed at enhancing guests’ experiences. For example, the use of mobile devices to unlock rooms or safes, as well as receive access to certain areas or some services.
  2. The company can develop a mobile application that would involve the use of digital television to collect data. Guests can be asked to participate in brief surveys that will help in improving the quality of provided services. Some quests and awards can be utilized to motivate customers to take part in surveys.
  3. Jumeirah Group can use augmented reality to make their customers’ stay brighter. Jumeirah Beach Hotel is an appropriate facility to try the new technology as the marine theme is associated with marvels and wonders. Guests can explore the underwater world or witness episodes from One Thousand and One Nights.
  4. The hotel can also benefit from the use of technology-free areas where guests could relax and enjoy the world without devices and try being disconnected.
  5. It is essential to remember that balance is the foundation of every organization’s success, so new technologies and services should not replace the existing ones. Traditional products and services many people still value (especially older customers) should be provided.
  6. Jumeirah Group should constantly innovate and upgrade the existing systems especially those related to data security. IS resources planning and management should remain central to the company’s business operations agenda as effective management of technology is the key to success in the modern world.

Reference List

Hua, N 2016, ‘E-commerce performance in hospitality and tourism’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 28, no. 9, pp. 2052-2079.

Jumeirah Group collaborates with Google to launch Jumeirah™ Inside. 2015. Web.

Jumeirah Group unveils the new mobile booking website. 2016. Web.

Jung, S, (Sunny) Kim, J & Farrish, J 2014, ‘In-room technology trends and their implications for enhancing guest experiences and revenue’, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 210-228.

Kobes, E 2018, ‘New technologies will revolutionize the hospitality industry, Forbes. Web.

Mastorakis, G, Trihas, N, Perakakis, E & Kopanakis, I 2014, ‘E-CRM in tourism exploiting emerging information and communication technologies’, Anatolia, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 32-44.

Neuhofer, B & Buhalis, D 2014, ‘Experience, co-creation and technology: issues, challenges and trends for technology enhanced tourism experiences’, in McCabe, S (ed), The Routledge handbook of tourism marketing, Routledge, New York, NY, pp. 124-139.

Ramos, C, Rodrigues, P & Rodrigues, J 2015, ‘Opportunities, emerging features, and trends in electronic distribution in tourism’, International Journal of Information Systems and Social Change, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 17-32.

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