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Network Changes Highlight ITSM Challenges Facing Hospitality Industry

11/06/2014 by: The SunView Team

Restaurants, hotels, cafes and other hospitality industry companies are experiencing new technology usage patterns across both staff and customer user groups. The result is a huge change in how organizations in the sector need to build their networks. However, these network investments represent an adjustment to the underlying infrastructure that helps meet customer demands. Businesses in the hospitality sector also need to seriously consider how technological evolution is impacting the way they support employees and customers.

With new support requirements becoming common across the hospitality sector (a sector where customer service expectations are always high), businesses need to make sure they carefully align their ITSM strategies with changing demands. To understand the full extent of IT change in the hospitality sector, let's first look at the underlying technology trends that are driving this large-scale evolution of how organizations meet customer needs.

Changing technology in the hospitality sector
A recent Hospitality Technology report explained that customers of hospitality companies are doing everything from accessing apps to streaming video while staying in hotels, visiting restaurants or taking advantage of similar services. This has resulted in incredibly taxing data transit requirements that the long-established LAN systems in most facilities cannot handle. Network investments are becoming critical in the sector and passive optical LAN solutions are showing promise.

The news source explained that increased data traffic combined with the need to offer robust Wi-Fi services to support mobile devices are conspiring to create new connectivity issues. POL solutions offer the potential to improve network bandwidth while costing less than equivalent copper networks would. As a rule, POL systems can operate with fewer layers, enabling the configuration to function with fewer wires, switches and other supporting hardware. This doesn't just reduce cost, it also eliminates maintenance complexity, makes it easier to deal with installation and improves efficiency as less equipment means lower power consumption.

According to the report, POL infrastructure offers benefits in environmental efficiency, cost, security and, of course, providing the performance users need. The end-result is a situation in which the underlying network is not only supporting demand, but positioned well for the future.

While POL technology offers considerable potential in the hospitality sector, transitioning to support POL functionality can create huge ITSM challenges. At the same time, IT service desk upgrades may also be necessary after the initial network project to meet ongoing customer and employee demands.

ITSM and the hospitality sector
With so much happening in the hospitality industry, there are a variety of service desk considerations that organizations should keep in mind:

Change management: Dealing with all the adjustments to underlying technologies without creating risks is critical. Effective investments in change management solutions streamlines processes related to completing technology changes and helps IT teams avoid human error and comply with regulatory standards. The result is flexible operations that can be more responsive to customer demands.

Incident management: Basic incidents like a user not being able to access the Wi-Fi network are key in every sector, but they are particularly critical in the hospitality industry, where a customer who isn't happy with technology services could quickly become unsatisfied with the entire experience at a hotel, restaurant or similar establishment.

Advanced dashboards: The service desk dashboard plays a key role in helping support employees prioritize tasks and effectively manage their day with peak efficiency. While a good dashboard is always key, hospitality industry service desk teams need to find a way to manage both internal and external users. This balancing act makes having the right information readily visible a vital concern, and a good dashboard can meet these needs.

These are just a few ITSM functions that should be kept in mind for hospitality sector organizations. Thinking holistically is key to equipping the service desk to meet changing technology requirements.