Why You Should Move Your Hotel’s Technology To the Cloud
There’s a common expression among IT professionals: “the cloud is just someone else’s computer.” This sentiment is often used to justify keeping software, hardware, and sensitive data on-premise rather than entrusting it to a cloud server or software-as-a-service provider.
Hotel owners are no exception to this idea. The hospitality industry has had a reputation for being hesitant to adopt new technology, and cloud technology is no exception. Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user. Large clouds often have functions distributed over multiple locations, each of which is a data center.
Why are hoteliers so hesitant to switch to cloud technology? And are these fears justified?
Common Objections to Cloud Technology
After years of installing Phonesuite systems in all manner of hotels, we’ve heard the objections to cloud technology that hotel owners often share. Some of the most common include:
- “After a year of paying for cloud services, I might as well have bought the equipment outright.” While this is technically true, it ignores the extra costs associated with on-premise equipment — maintenance, service, and upgrades can quickly add up to cost far more than cloud services.
- “Security is a priority, and I have no way of knowing if my data is secure in the cloud.” There are security risks for both on-premise and cloud services alike — keeping your data hosted locally doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s any safer. In addition, cloud services often have much higher security budgets than individual hotels.
- “Cloud services can’t meet my very strict compliance standards.” While compliance when handling sensitive guest information is crucial, cloud service providers are more than capable of meeting the same standards as any locally hosted system.
In most circumstances, cloud services are cheaper, more effective, and safer than on-premise options. Here are some additional factors to consider:
In addition to paying for the hardware and software itself, on-premise servers require periodic maintenance, electricity costs, cooling costs, and the cost of storage expansion when your hard drives fill up.
When your equipment does require an upgrade, you’ll probably need to shut it down or take it offline for software upgrades, patches, repairs, or maintenance. That downtime can limit your hotel’s capabilities, costing you money and reducing the quality of your guest experience.
When you use a cloud service, all of these costs are rolled into one consistent monthly operating expense. When your equipment needs an upgrade, you don’t have to budget around an unexpected cost for the month, and the cloud host will automatically migrate services to ensure that you don’t have to worry about downtime.
Most hotel software is subscription-based, so you’ll need to account for the cost of every subscription that your hotel needs. If you’re using a cloud-based solution like Phonesuite, then all the hotel software features you need are baked right into the suite of services we offer.
If you host your own servers and choose your own software, costs can add up faster than you think. You might subscribe to redundant software or software that doesn’t communicate well with your other systems. You might also leave gaps in functionality that affect your day-to-day operations.
In addition to hotel software, you’ll have to purchase your own software for security, monitoring, operating systems, and other functionalities. These costs can add up quickly.
Large data breaches have been in the news recently, and hotels are not immune to these threats. Since your hotel hosts sensitive guest information, possibly including credit card and banking information, your data might be a valuable target for cybercriminals.
Data security is vital, but it’s also a field that most hoteliers aren’t well-versed in. If you try to manage and install your own security software and protocols, you might miss crucial steps to keep your business and your guests safe.
Cloud computing and security have come a long way in the last few years. If you’re looking for a hotel communications solution with the best possible security, efficiency, and feature set, moving to the cloud is the obvious choice.