For over 1/3 of my career, I have been involved with helping hotels and restaurants identify business needs for technology solutions, and then managing the process to identify the requirements and managing the task of selection and implementation. I have watched the industry over the years move from a "boombox" mindest where one vendor provided all the pieces (including the hardware and all services) to a new world order where specialization (aka Best-of-Breed) is the more common approach.
Integration techniques have improved. It used to be that any form of interface between two vendors was a long and painful process using proprietary tools ending far too often in failure. Some efforts in developing standards were modestly successful, but only for those in the vendor community who embraced the approach and were willing to play by the rules. Many talked a good game, but they didn't all practice what they openly preached, so integration continued to be a dark art practiced only when a vendor's feet were put to the fire.
Fast-forward to 2018, and the state of the industry is clearly now a specialized-application culture. The marketplace is no longer dominated by the single-stop supplier, and the degree of application specialization is at an all-time high.
The days of needing to support store-level interfaces to a myriad of store-level applications is gone, replaced by cloud solutions using API's and Web Services to speak at an enterprise level to other cloud solutions. What this means is that it is no longer a major premise-level support issue and that greater emphasis is put on connectivity, namely Internet. We'll talk about how that is now the "new electricity" in a subsequent blog. It also means near real-time access to data from anywhere; this is the new expectation, the new norm.
So now that the vendor community has made the seismic move to replacing their legacy premise-based system to new architecture that means that most of the application resides "in the cloud," what was the first casualty of the migration? You guessed it, functionality!
Legacy applications that had been enhanced over a decade or more of new features have been replaced by new product 1.0. While this new application may have modern design and architecture that allows it to be remotely deployed, managed, and operated, it is not anywhere near as feature-rich. So now, operators have a dilemma: do I stay with my legacy-based on-premise system or move to the new cloud applications?
While every operation needs to weigh this decision carefully, allow me to provide my perspective. In the new world order, technology and the ability to integrate rules. Integration trumps everything else, even functionality.
It provides an organization to have a nimble Operations and Technology strategy; it removes the technology tyranny of being held hostage to a vendor, a technology, or a proprietary system, and it brings all the free market economics of competition into play. It no longer becomes a game of hoping a vendor will enhance the product to your benefit or needing to pay to have your feature "jump the queue:" now, if you don't like what the product can do (or can't do), switch!
Visit www.Murtec.com for more info - oh, and did I mention that it is in Las Vegas?