The hospitality and leisure sector must prioritise system availability, high-speed and secure Wi-Fi alongside strict IT security standards. These 'amenities' are now just as important as the cleanliness of rooms or quality of food that customers expect.
Especially as an independent or boutique hotel, cloud computing levels the playing field, allowing them to gain access to enterprise-level firewalls, endpoint device security and SSL encryption for an affordable monthly cost.
The massive data breach of the Marriott - Starwood hotel group in 2018 is a sobering example of how legacy IT systems are often incredibly vulnerable to cyber-criminals, especially if they are considered low-priority to assess and update. Measures like stronger encryption, implementing multi-factor authentication and an overall network security audit should be prioritised by all businesses to protect their databases of information like customers' personal information.
1) Lower IT operating costs
Cloud hosting allows your business to skip the purchase and maintenance of expensive servers that reach capacity after a few years. Rather than guessing how much storage space you will need in the next 5-10 years, your managed services provider (MSP) can determine the exact components your project will require, built on a platform where you can scale in or out to meet your needs over time. Your IT spend becomes a monthly, predictable
24/7/365 support is included, so you aren't paying hidden fees to speak with someone when questions arise, and you'll benefit from agnostic advice that puts your goals and requirements first.
2) Robust and secure Wi-Fi
This is especially important for guests who travel for work and expect to be able to continue working as normal while staying at your property. Providing fast and secure Wi-Fi is a simple way to boost your reputation and provide a seamless guest experience, as it is something they will remember and value.
3) No more IT troubleshooting
The tech support you will receive from a MSP like SysGroup relieves the burden from your staff and allows them to focus on guests. Through cloud computing, even basic functions like checking in or out can be done on portable devices rather than a main terminal or desk, saving time and providing flexibility to serve guests.
Troubleshooting becomes a thing of the past, no more hand-written mini-bar tabs and waiting around for the systems to re-boot. Downtime is eliminated and your team will receive personalised support from a team of expert technicians to get the most out of your IT infrastructure.
4) A secure network + business continuity
System updates are critical to address any gaps in your network where cyber criminals can slip in unnoticed. With a managed IT security or managed infrastructure solution, security updates are easily done and handled by your MSP, which takes an important (but often overlooked) task off your long to-do list.
Traditional tape backups can be replaced as well, with daily or hourly backup of your systems to the SysGroup cloud, or to a public cloud through a solution like managed Office 365 or AWS. This ensures business continuity in the event of a fire, flood or human error, because your systems can be restored within minutes or hours to a recent copy, meaning no data is lost.
5) Flexibility and remote working
Management and office staff can easily access the cloud-based systems or information from anywhere, which allows them to securely work from home or away from the premises, which formerly would have been impossible for hotels or leisure businesses with an on-premises booking or management system. Services like endpoint security help with monitoring connected devices for maximum network security.