Information Technology for management Project: Hotel Business
- Business Introduction
The idea is to start a hotel business unit in London, with a long term plan of extending it to several foreign countries such as in Middle East, Australia, Africa and United States. The hotel is intended to have 7 top level departments, with each department having a department manager, with relevant qualifications and experience who will report to the managing director. This means 8 strategic managers. Other employees will include waiters, cashiers, professional chefs, IT personnel, data entry clerks, hotel drivers, marketers, secretaries, logistic team (for supply chain management), customer representatives, cleaners, security personnel, tour guides, and spa and massage specialists. These will form the bulk of junior staff approximated to be 30 employees. With the need for casuals such as cleaners the total expected employee turnover is approximated to 45 employees.
- Services/Products you sell and buy
The hotel will provide food (local and exotic), confectionary and pastries, beverages (fresh natural juices, sodas, and animal beverages like milk, alcoholic and other non alcoholic drinks), comfort services such as spa treatment and massage, lodging and accommodation services, tours and travel services, conference facilities and services and event organization services.
- Target market
For general services such as basic foods and beverages, the first target market is drawn from all demographics (children, teens, young adults and adults, elderly, families, couples, both males and females) with a target of both locals and international market. The second target group will be wealthy businesses people on business trips, tourists visiting London, and prominent people on business/academic/political matters wishing to hold meetings and conferences in a serene environment. The last target group is high end event revelers such as entertainment events, sporting events, public campaign awareness events and so on.
- Business functions/departments
At the start, the hotel is expected to have 7 main departments namely; the administration, production, customer care, marketing, finance, IT, research and development. In case of expansion, each unit will be required to have the following core sections universally: the parking space, cash counter, reception, kitchen, dining hall, side station, family section, dish washing section, pantry section and a toilet. These sections will add up to the already six departments.
How could IT improve your business?
IT will play a very crucial role in helping the Hotel business in the following main areas: process improvements, decision making, operations streamlining, regulatory compliance and obtaining a competitive advantage over the competitors. In the business process improvement, through automation, IT will help in improving core hotel’s processes such as stock taking, payment processing, online retailing, administrative automation, customer service among other processes. IT will be used as a strategic weapon or tool to assist in decision making. This will be done by examining various products of the information systems such as summary, evaluation and comparisons reports. Such decisions provide the financial and competitive health for the business that will be critical for the management to make choices regarding areas of improvements, market and customer characteristics and so forth. Operations streamlining is mainly a product of automation, where processes can be standardized, accuracy and timely delivery of processes outputs can be evaluated among others. As a regulatory enhancer, IT will provide a crucial role in documenting and evaluating regulatory requirements such as health and safety activities of the hotel as expected by regulatory bodies and laws. Finally, by analyzing market trends, customer behavior, process and operations improvements, IT will play a crucial role in discovering strategies of reduced costs of operations, product/service differentiation according to the market demands, expanding sales and target market among other competitive advantages.
- Information Management:
- What kind of data/information you need to run your business
The hotel will require the following categories of data as inputs to its information system: transactional data based on daily transactions such as sales volumes, customer service experience, sales income, daily supply requirements among others. Secondly, it will require management information for different managers such as semi-refined summaries of daily transaction data. Examples include; daily sales volume of a particular service/product or a menu item, particular performance of a newly introduced product, administrative work such as daily personnel turnover (absentees), daily summaries of supplier information and so on. This information will be essential for strategic management. Tactical information that will be important for the top management and the director of the hotel will also be required. This might include refined summaries on the performance of a given product or service such as event organization, market trends of close competitors and so forth. Data for tactical information requirements will be obtained from transactional and strategic management systems, together with decision support systems. Decision support systems will be necessary to predict the future such as in terms of brand attractiveness, supplier characteristics, and consumer behaviors and so on.
- How will you manage the data?
Data management will be done through the help of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The ERP system will be able to collect, analyze, store, and produce the desired reporting for use by different users and uses. The database will also act as repository infrastructure from where data can be stored and retrieved on need basis.
More specifically, the following principles will be used: Data planning, data control and organization, access control, long-term data resiliency, and data sharing. This will leverage the business’s core asset – the data.
- What is the role/importance of a Database to your business?
A database system is composed of the data repository and a database management system that can allow modifications, updating, retrieval and other activities that wishes to be done on the data. The database system will provide a secure, reliable, adequate storage capacity and timely and remote retrieval of the intended information for the authorized users. It will support all the core functional areas of the business with required data and information. Besides, the database system will prevent duplication of data and efforts, allow advantages of pooled information such as shared information resources, data consistency and data searches among others.
- Networks, Collaboration, and Sustainability
The information system will rely on a variety of data networks for communication, collaboration and sustainability reasons. The institution’s network infrastructure, will involve a LAN that will serve the internal information needs and an internet connection to allow WAN access.
Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio-frequency identification (RFID) will play a major role in facilitating hotel’s operations within the premises of the business. NFC provides for a low-speed connection which is very simple to set up between devices separated by a short range distance. This technology will be used to support contactless payment services that will allow mobile payments. It will offer an ideal, easy and rapid communications for most of consumer devices used within cross-range. With NFC enabled devices within the premise, users can easily store and exchange personal data files such as pictures, messages and MP3 files among others. However, this technology cannot be relied upon in transferring large files or for over larger separation distances.
RFID will provide a vital business muscle in identifying and tracking tags automatically that are attached to objects. This technology uses electromagnetic fields for the purposes of data transmission. In the hotel business, RFID tags will be attached to all business assets, from furniture to kitchen equipments, to stock and all items within the premise of the hotel. The technology will allow easy identification and tracking of these items for the purposes of inventory taking and asset profiling. Besides, they will be used by the logistic team to track stock and supplies by facilitating identification of products’ characteristics such as destination, origin, supplier, customer and so forth. Apart from inventory and tracking of other assets, this technology will also prove very beneficial in applications involving access control. For example, these tags can be mounted on staff badges and can also be used to capture car details and authorize vehicles at the entrance. Strategically, RFID technology can be used to track the performance of certain brands provided by the hotel. En example is tracking the performance of a discounted product items (like a menu item) through a supply chain involving other retailers. This can prevent the retailers from diverting the discounted prices.
Within the Hotel’s premises, information networks will include WiFi and Wireless LAN. WiFi provides a relatively easy and convenient way to send and receive light files. With the increase usage of smart phones, users can easily access the internet, which will be one of the communication and entertainment services provided at the hotel. In addition to having a connection to the internet, users can easily exchange data files such as music and short video clips. The inclusion of a wireless LAN will enhance more sharing of larger data files within the hotel’s staff, within customers as they enjoy the internet services within the hotels, and between the staff and the customers. This can include confirmation of orders especially those in the lodgings and want to communicate with the staff. The staff can also use the mobile devices especially notebooks to do some more research for example on the possibility of introducing a new menu item, exploration of an international market and so forth at the comfort of the hotel’s premises. However, for wireless LAN and WiFi, security and network strength will occupy the central notion in their implementation. Despite there being passwords to regulate their use, sensitive information such as strategic and tactical information will not be allowed to be relayed through wireless LAN and WiFi. The essence behind this is that wireless networks are more prone to attacks such as man-in-the-middle attack, network injection and denial of service attacks. These attacks are more prone to wireless access points. The common or popular standards for a wirelss LAN are the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and that of WiFi is the WiFi-Protected Access (WPA) which are considered as weak standards. WPA is the most current and more secure but requires firm upgrade which means added investments.
Besides, wireless networks are easily affected by physical obstructions, and interruptions of other wireless networks, bearing in mind that the hotel will be located in the London busy City with thousands of other wireless networks. So there will be an essence of dedicated and more stable wired network, connecting critical business units that will be involved in the storage, transmission and retrieval of business critical information (strategic, tactical and decision making). This will also be critical for the support of network-intensive bandwidth applications that require high quality of service such as online conferencing.
Virtual private network (VPN) will offer an important technology solution to provide mobile and remote users with secured network coverage. VPN technology will make it possible for remote/mobile users to receive and send files via a public or shared network such as internet as if they are connected directly (within a private network), and at the same time, allowing the use of hotel’s specified network management and security policies. This will be very essential in the event of the expansion of the hotel, with several geographically separated branches. The branches can be connected through a unified network and allow access to hotel’s data resources and applications stored on the premise’s internal servers. However for a safe connection, the VPN system must use secure VPN protocols such as Internet Protocol Security (IPsec).
5. CyberSecurity, Compliance, and Business Continuity
- Explain your IT infrastructure (i.e. Software, Hardware, and Database)?
As discussed above, the hotel will seek an ERP solution as the main information system from vendors. Besides this, there are other prerequisites in terms of hardware, software and database systems. For the case of hardware infrastructure, the hotel will require various hardware devices for the work stations, server environment and network infrastructure.
For the work stations, which represents different stations from which the personnel will work from, the following requirements must be met:
High performing PCs- each for every personnel, that should have RAM of 4GB, speed of i3 processors, external storage capacity of at least 80GB, high speed Ethernet slot and wireless adaptor. PCs will be preferred for fixed working stations while notebooks of similar storage and processing power will be acquired to fulfill mobile working stations. For the server, there will be a local server, installed within the premise’s data center and a backup server hosted service that will conduct information mirroring in a remote location. The essence of having two server environments is to enhance continuity in case of an accident or calamity affecting one of the servers.
Networking hardware will include network switches, routers, a firewall, cabling, access points, wireless server environment such as RADIUS server to cater for both cable and wireless LAN security requirements , gateways, bridge to connect several network segments, and repeaters to amplify and regenerating received digital signals and resending them from one network segment to another.
Software requirements include appropriate operating software for both the servers and workstation computers, notebooks and other portable devices such as smart-phones. Application software for different workstation needs. For example, the cahier might need a point of sales software to support his/her daily transitional requirements. Security software such as antivirus programs will also be needed.
For the database system, it will be imperative to acquire the database program from renowned vendors or rely on customization of open source database software. Based on cost-benefit analysis, possible vendors include Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access (available in the MS Office package), IBM Lotus Approach and SAP Sybase IQ. For open source database solutions, customizations can be done to MySQL, PostgreSQL, Firebird or SQLite.
- How will you secure your IT infrastructure? Explain all measures needed.
With the advent of ubiquitous computing, a technique for computing everywhere, anytime and using any device, in addition to modern communication technologies such as the internet, business have been exposed to a wide array of cyber-security threats (Yannakogeorgos & Lowther, 2013). Cybercriminals have also devised complex tools and techniques to break into computing systems; therefore, every security conscious business must adopt resilient counter measures covering both the physical and logical infrastructure to deal with potential security threats.
Securing the IT infrastructure will take physical, administrative, and logical security controls strategies. Physical security control strategies will include physical preventive mechanisms that ensure safety of the IT infrastructure. These includes: doors and locks to sensitive IT infrastructure such as the data center, CCTV cameras to monitor and report any authorized access, fencing and inclusion of security guards. This will also entail prevention of fire, dust, humidity and other environmental factors that might affect the IT infrastructure. Strategies to achieve this will include fire and smoke alarms, and heating and air conditioning systems.
Logical controls will involve the use of technical parameters through software and applications to prevent unauthorized access or modification of data and information systems. To achieve logical controls, each user of any computing device will be required to use a secure and strong password; there will be access control lists to govern the access privileges into computing systems. For example, the cashier can only be able to input sales volume but cannot edit them after completion of a customer order. Such functions will be designated to the authorized data technician who will be answerable, responsible and accountable of any changes. In addition, there will be both host-based and network based firewalls to prevent against external information threats especially from the internet. Programs to guard against viruses, Trojans and spyware will also be required.
Lastly, administrative controls will entails laws and regulations that will govern activities and procedures involving the use of computing facilities. To facilitate this, a computer security policy will be drafted, entailing all the Do’s and Don’ts while dealing with any computing device or resource. Governing policies such as consequences of not adhering to the specified laws and regulations will be put into place (discipline measures). The administrative department will be tasked with the role of ensuring only capable and qualified personnel are given various computing tasks. For example, the data clerk or an IT support staff cannot assume the roles of the database or network administrators. In the event of inability to hire some of the qualified staff such as a database administrator especially at the start, the hotel management can plan to outsource some of these roles to specialist companies. Separation of duties to ensure responsibility and accountability will form the nucleus of the administrative controls.
According to Yannakogeorgos & Lowther (2013), every company whether privately or publicly held must comply with one or more regulatory agencies in the course of operation. Therefore, the hotel must adhere to set and implied laws and regulations to ensure smooth running, satisfy all customer needs and consequently achieve a competitive edge against rivals. Computing systems, both hardware and software used by the hotel must be robust enough in order to provide the appropriate functionalities without slowing the business down. What the hotel need from the systems vendors is a guarantee for compliance. However, to a larger extent compliance depends on the location of operation, business procedures, workflows, interactivity with customers, handling of customer, partner, and supplier data such as private and confidential data, funds transfer, and overall security. Yannakogeorgos & Lowther (2013) argues that business engaged in computing systems, especially from sources external to the business are at a greater risk of violating one or more law or regulation. This can be attributed to the rising cases of complaints from the customer community with respect to violation of such elements as privacy infringement.
Yannakogeorgos & Lowther (2013) identifies the key elements with respect to compliance to be:
- Security and privacy: Solid security functionality is paramount. It should be easy to maintain to adapt to changing environments. The information residing on these systems must also be free from access or use by unauthorized people. In addition, systems must comply with set data protection and disposal requirements.
- Change log: Systems are used by different people with different roles and privileges; therefore, business systems must have a robust audit trail to uphold accountability and non-repudiation.
- Data sharing: This is an important tool that can help a business to effectively, securely and efficiently share data over communication networks including the internet across the globe.
- Documents and records capture, approval and storage: Electronic documents and records approval can enable a business accelerate its processes, workflow and information sharing. With proper indexing, system users can easily retrieve documents such as invoices, correspondence, drawings and other documentations.
- Lot and serial number tracking: This functionality is vital for tracing the production elements to meet particular compliance, for example state contracts and other applications where stakeholders would want to know specifically what was used in actual production. Variants of this tool seek track serial numbers as products leave the business.
- Quality assurance: The system functionalities must support business-wide decision making through robust analysis and reporting capabilities.
- Globally supported principles: Systems used in businesses must conform to global principles such as tax and accounting, excise and customs, and VAT automation.
- Disaster recovery: Systems must have recovery capability to ensure business continuity in case of a disaster.
For the purpose of this business, business continuity will entail creation of a robust ICT infrastructure and techniques that is secure, compliant with laws, regulations and standards, and highly functional to meet all business and user requirements. This way, its operations will be kept on course even when unforeseen threats strike. The major component of business continuity will take the form of a disaster recovery plan to enable the hotel continue operating at acceptable specific levels in case of a disruptive event. Erbschloe (2003) suggests that business continuity should be embedded into a business to enable quick and effective recovery from disasters. Swanson, Bowen, Phillips, Gallup & Lynes (2010) notes that business continuity elements may include: Resilience, using spare capacity and redundancy to protect critical business operations; recovery, aimed at recovering and restoring crucial business functions; and contingency, an elements that seeks to augment resilience and recovery such that some risks not catered for or unforeseen incidents are effectively resolved.
Business continuity specifications for this business include: Assessment of disaster recoverability during hardware and software acquisition based on documentation on pre-built recovery functionality in the systems; concrete SLAs with vendors to guarantee instantaneous support; solid backup and replication; using cloud computing’s Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS); authentication and authorization tools and techniques to block unwanted access to business resources; regular systems security patching; and a secured network perimeter and servers with prebuilt low failover capability.
- E-Business & E-Commerce Models and Strategies
- Explain the reason(s) beyond your decision to run your business online
First, through the power of internet, a new economy has been developed. All hotels with just a regional tag have been able to establish their presence on the online space. The creation of the new economy is something that is beyond business management to decide either to adopt an online strategy or not. It is a mandatory requirement if at all any business wishes to keep in touch with the current market conditions. Established companies like Ebay and Amazon have been able to create their dominance already, and hotel businesses are speedily catching up.
In addition to the creation of new online economies, taking business online has bridged the distance between businesses and customers. It creates an opportunity that has made the world a small digital global village. With this in mind, customers dictate the need for the hotel to take its operations online. Business enterprises have no otherwise as online business transactions continue to dominate business operations of the 21st century. Customers can order, and pay over online means. Businesses can advertise, provide customer service, and increase value of their goods and services through online. By elimination of geographical limitations through virtual technologies, it has become possible to attract a wider market segment, increase brand’s attractiveness and increased presence.
Like any other enterprises, the aim of any business is to reduce costs of production for a sustainable profit margin. The hotel business is no exception. Through internet and online operations, businesses can cut down on their production costs significantly. Through online technologies, the hotel business can be able to streamline its business operations and allow benefits of virtual trading. Examples of such business processes include billing, procurement, supply chain management, shipping and so forth. An E-business platform allows reduction of operational costs associated with physical contact and can lead to huge savings.
Days when business operations were done only during the day or for limited number of night times are gone. By adopting an E-business strategy, customers can order at any time, conduct payments, and enquire about prices, menu items, delivery systems at any time of the day. This translates to an opportunity of making sales and business growth as major world economies migrate to 24 hour economy system.
Lastly, taking business online creates added avenues of information. Customers can use the online platform to compare among different prices, from different competitors. Competitors on the other hand can be able to learn on the activities of their close competitors, to modify their selling, production or value proposition strategies. Therefore, online presence will play a significant role in obtaining business intelligence regarding customers, competitors, and other stakeholders affecting the business such as suppliers, government involvement among others. This has been made possible through online data gathering and analyzing tools such as online customer relationship management systems (CRMs). These factors shift the decision of going online from owners or managements’ perspective to a global and universal strategy that cannot be avoided.
- Will you run pure or partial e-commerce business? Why?
At the start, the Hotel will employ a partial a partial-ecommerce approach with an aim of pure e-commerce system as a long-term plan in the future. This will involve an initial system that involve an information dispersing platform that will only allow customers to view goods and services, request customer service duties and other enquiries in general. Fully automation of ordering and payment will be achieved after the business has taken off, approximated after 1 year. This is influenced by a number of factors. First, the initial startup capital of a fully operational e-commerce business is relatively high. At the moment, high priority on capital investment is on the business critical processes such as stock and inventory, personnel, licensing and regulatory compliance, furniture, fixtures and fittings, equipment and other key resources that the business cannot kick without. With time, more capital can be acquired and implement a full or pure e-commerce system. Secondly, before engaging on a full e-commerce system, it becomes imperative to have some experience from the physical transactions. Due to the large amount of online customers expected, it can be a risk to experiment with them before fully understanding the market demands, expected customer preferences and so forth. Abrupt adoption of a full e-commerce system can lead to a massive damage of the brand or hotel’s image to a significant proportion of the target customers. Rectifying such images can be costly and time consuming or lead to a total failure of the whole e-commerce strategy. Gradual implementation of the E-commerce system can be made based on current customer experiences which can take a considerable amount of time. Other factors such as taking time to learn from competitor E-commerce strategies, supplier behavior and other factors that are directly affecting the business will need time.
- What TYPES OF E-COMMERCE TRANSACTIONS you will run?
At the initial startup, the partial E-commerce system will support the following transactions:
Customers to make requests on available services, menu items, costs, place a complaint, recommend, and express their all other views regarding the operations of the hotel and their experiences.
Whereas the hotel will not have an automated online ordering and payment system at the start, the system will play a great role in supporting existing manual processes. For example, a customer can place an order via a phone call or an email, make the upfront payments using the mobile phone and track the order delivery using the E-commerce messaging system and customer service already in place.
Suppliers can enquire on the available opportunities to supply such as inventory, raw materials like fresh fruits and animal products, enquire and negotiate with the procurement department on the pricing, delivery modes and all forms of supplier information.
The hotel business can promote sales, advertise, market, rectify various types of information relating to products and services, attend to other stakeholders’ queries such as customers, government and regulatory bodies and suppliers.
- Which e-commerce model will you adopt and why?
The business model to adopt is business to consumer (B2C). Major reason behind it is to have a direct connection to the consumer. The customer will be required to place the order via the E-commerce website, then through the E-commerce technologies and user support at the hotel, the order will be processed and sent back to the client. With a direct connection with the customers, middlemen are reduced. This does not only reduce possible costs involved with them but also creates convenience in attending to their orders and other queries. Besides, B2C model offers flexibility in changing the catalogue details. For example, the management can decide to change price and offerings instantaneously. Call centers and email communications can be integrated within the site, reducing unnecessary phone calls that might lengthen a purchase/sale lifecycle.
B2C models also offers unlimited market potential as long as business devise appropriate product/service promotion strategies such as advertising and sales promotion. Through the power of internet, customers can browse, place orders and make purchases at the comfort of their homes, roads, offices, 24 hours, 7days a week. B2C business models also experiences reduced costs of doing businesses such as reduced processing costs associated with intensive data entry or faxing, reduced employees, inventory and purchasing costs. There is also ease in business administration, where with the right software and infrastructure, business administration activities can be automatically classified, stored, real time updated and accessed wherever needed by the customers.
- Which electronic payment method(s) will you adopt?
On full automation, the E-commerce system will adopt the following payment methods: the most used method is the use of credit /debit card numbers. For the case of credit cards, after a user makes a purchase, the bank makes the payment on his/her behalf. The customer can then pay the purchase amount a credit card bill. Other payment options involve a third party online banking institution that facilitates the payments. Examples of such include PayPal, Payoneer and Skrill. PayPal which is a global electronic payment system will offer support for customers with PayPal accounts. There is also the Google Wallet, which is a bit similar to PayPal to assist in the transfer of money online. Others include MaterPass, clearXchange, Skrill, Bitcoin, and Dwolla.
- Mobile Technologies and Commerce
- Explain any pressure that is pushing your business to go mobile?
Like for the case of going online, the current business environment has also made going mobile a fundamental necessity. Mobile phones and devices have taken the current economy by thrust. Computing strategies are also moving from desktop based applications to mobile computing. Currently, statistics indicates that in most households, the popularity of the use of mobile phone is in such a way that even teens own mobile phones. The convenience brought by mobile phones, especially with the technological developments that have seen the utilization of smart phones into businesses cannot be under-estimated. With the advent of smart apps, most of the e-commerce that has been conducted via the internet can now be possible through mobile phones. This capability, when combined with their convenience provides huge business potential for the future. Mobile business will be of huge value to the hotel business in supporting mobile information services, marketing activities, shopping, logistics and other operations of the hotel.
- What are the benefits of running your business as an m-commerce business?
Mobile commerce (m-commerce) has seen a growing shift from old e-commerce systems mainly developed for desktop to Smartphone Apps and mobile websites. By taking the business mobile, the following benefits will be accrued:
- The size of mobile users is growing day by day. This translates into a growing target and potential market segments.
- Like E-commerce, M-commerce eliminates most of the limitations involved with geographical distances. This makes it easy to reach most of customers irrespective of their geographical locations.
- M-commerce will bring significant savings, to all parties that are directly connected to the business operations such as customers, business itself and suppliers. By eliminating the need of physical contacts, uses can save both on their money and time.
- Mobile phones are relatively easy to use when compared to other technologies such as desktop applications. The call for skilled consumers or other users is not a necessity. Mobile apps have also made shopping easy. For example, a consumer can be able to browse thousands of the hotel’s services and products without the requirements of undergoing the online checkout process.
- Mobile apps can function both online and offline, which adds value to their use as opposed to desktop-based E-commerce systems
- With their availability at apps stores such as Google Play and so on, their visibility is increased. Websites are not visible in apps stores and thus will require additional marketing, either online or offline to improve their visibility.
However, there are various limitations that comes with m-commerce, which the hotel business must take account into. These include: reduced screen size as compared to desktop screens. This makes it difficult to navigate within thousands of items.
- Will you have an application for your business? Talk about it.
The hotel will create a Smartphone application for the business that will be aimed at supporting both the business and customers in the following ways:
For the hotel business:
- Building and maintaining customer relationships
- Reinforcing hotel’s brands (menu items and services)
- Creating brand’s loyalty
- Increasing visibility of the hotel’s services and products to target and potential customers
- Create a repeat business
- Improve accessibility of the business products and services
For the customers:
- Easy access to the business goods and services
- Location directions of the premises
- Business notifications on discounts, offering, special events and more
- Appointment scheduling for special customers with unique demands such as customizations or bulk buying
- Budget calculators to show how much they can save by choosing the hotel’s products and services as opposed to compotators
- One-touch of the hotel’s contact information
- Automatic reminders for activities such as the appointment days
- They can also have QR code scanners embedded in them as a reading device.
Description of the app
Branding: The name of the app should acquire a key letter from the hotel’s name. For example, considering the name to be Fort’s Hotel, the app name can be something like, F-Hotel. This will be part of branding, where each of the hotel’s marketing strategies can be uniquely and clearly identified.
Accessibility-The app to be developed should be accessible in most of Smart-phones’ operating systems. At least the app should be supported by Android, Windows and iOS. This is to increase the app’s presence among the target and potential customers.
What the app should do: the app should have the following capabilities to support earlier stated objectives:
- Mobile food/drinks/services ordering system- the app will have to support the ordering process by allowing customers to request order as well as make the payment from any Android, Windows, iPhone or iPad device. Options for this feature include customized product menus with food images, pricing information and delivery options. The app will be developed with options of delivery, dine-in or carryout. This should also be supported by necessary notifications for order status such as confirmation of receipt and so on.
- Support videos and pictures of the hotel’s specials- in addition to basic pictures of the menu items, this feature will be used as a selling point to attract more and more customers. Example of such specials include the past customer experiences, a look on the hygiene, facilities, and so forth.
- Push messages and notifications- this is the ability of the hotel business to use the app to send messages as well as associated push notifications. This is a great way to keep close interactions and customer engagements between the business and its customers.
- Incorporate an easy customer loyalty program- the word here is ‘easy’. The loyalty program should be easy, both on the side of customer and the business. For example, there can be redeemable coupons for customers who have visited the hotel or ordered certain mails a specified number of times. The customers should also refer their friends easily to the hotel through supported social or messaging networking system.
- Event creator- the app will assist customers to create new events as notified through notifications. This can be done by adding new events on their calendars and having a reminder system to remind them.
- Web 2.0 and Social Media
a. Explain why you will make use of social media for your business
Social media provides on of the excellent social interaction points that modern businesses are using to link up with customers. Social media mainly entails social networks such as Facebook, Google+, twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp. It offers proven ways of reaching to thousands of customers, through a cheaper option to most of the traditional advertisement methods. Social media can be used as a new customer attraction platform, establishing customer preferences, promoting the business activities and its brands, strengthen relationships with already existing customers to create brand loyalty, informing customers on the products/services details, and all other information that is crucial for the business. By engaging in social media, the hotel business will be able to benefit from the following aspects:
Possibility of targeting specific groups of interests- with social media tools such as Facebook and Foursquare, it becomes possible to target specific groups of customers based on demographics, social and geographical locations. With the ability of targeting a specific group, the hotel’s management and marketing teams can be able to develop relevant content that will catch-up the attention of potential customers, thereby increasing the brand’s visibility.
Broad reach-like E-commerce strategies, the use of social media closes the geographical distance and overcomes limitations associated with physical
b. What social media will you use? For what purpose?
———————————————-talk of fb grps, ads, en so on———————————————
9. Functional areas
- What functional areas will you have in your business?
- What functional system will you run?
10. Enterprise systems and applications
a. Which Enterprise system will be of use to your business, and why?
———————————————————–talk of ERP solutions—————————-
11. Performance management using data visualization
a. Explain why you will make use of business dashboards?
12. IT strategy
a. Define your business strategy and IT strategy as per the table below.
Erbschloe, M. (2003). Guide to Disaster Recovery. Thomson/Course Technology.
Swanson, M., Bowen, P., Phillips, A.W., Gallup, D., & Lynes, D. (2010). Contingency Planning Guide for Federal Information Systems. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Retrieved from http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-34-rev1/sp800-34-rev1_errata-Nov11-2010.pdf
Yannakogeorgos, A., & Lowther, A.D. (2013). Conflict and Cooperation in Cyberspace: The Challenge to National Security. CRC Press.