Consumers today love choice. Whether bidding on hotel rooms, searching low priced flights or shopping to get the best deal, choice is a mainstay today, and it’s something we’ve come to expect.
But if choice is normal among consumers, what changes when we think about choice in the context of business? For instance in IT, why should this be any different?
IT departments within restaurants make choices today that impact the business tomorrow, and in almost every large decision, there are multiple unknowns to plan for. IT departments need to be able to build the right infrastructure and technology platforms that will help their companies be successful as new technology and trends disrupt the restaurant industry and consumer behavior continues to evolve. To state the obvious, that can be tricky.
NCR has been in the technology business for over 125 years and has helped companies of all sizes leverage technology to operate more efficiently, manage profitable businesses and engage consumers. Over time, we’ve come to recognize that when the IT decisions you make today will impact your tomorrow, it boils down to one word: flexibility. Here are three things to think about when building flexibility into your IT strategy.
- IoT (the Internet of Things) will drive different operational needs and new consumer behaviors – Forrester research predicts that companies will be able to connect nearly all products and machines by 2020, giving your staff, managers and consumers access to anything, anyhow, anywhere, at any time. How those devices collect data and connect to users is going to continue to evolve. When evaluating and selecting technology tools to support these new trends, consider platforms that are designed for extensibility and integration vs. a product that is limited to addressing today’s immediate need.
- The blurring of lines between physical and digital will continue, enabling consumers to start a transaction on one device or in one channel and finish it in another. Multiple opportunities for consumer interaction will create more data. As consumers interact with your restaurant in multiple ways with different devices, it’s important to leverage technology that enables you to support one single representation of the consumer to drive a frictionless, omnichannel experience. Big Data solutions can use this single consumer view to help you more effectively connect with your guests, and most especially, your loyal customers.
- Solution flexibility is important – IT staff that chooses to put a heavy investment in one type of device or operating system could miss the untapped potential of another. To mitigate this risk, look for technology partners that give you the flexibility in mobile platform selection. Consider the difference between commercially built and built-for-purpose devices. Commercial, multi-function devices are popular and help run our personal lives, but they don’t always stand up to the needs of a Hospitality environment. A well-rounded restaurant technology solution partner can deliver productivity gains with built-for-purpose solutions, as well as with commercially-built devices, giving IT Departments a choice and helping them understand which makes the most sense for their business - based on their goals.
Hospitality continues to evolve. The decisions that IT makes today will not only impact the future, but industry best practices, new technologies and consumer behavior will continue to drive change.
By aligning with partners that can offer flexibility today, IT Departments can feel secure in the decisions they make and know that they’re future-proofing their business for tomorrow.
This post is sponsored by NCR