Trends Update

New survey finds cultural problems in a digital age

In a global market that is rapidly becoming digitalised, it is more important than ever to identify and rectify the organisational and cultural issues that can hinder progress and stunt growth as a result of digital culture. Recent research produced by McKinsey&Company has highlighted a number of the major factors that need to be addressed in order for the hospitality industry to thrive in the digital world.

Analysis of the data shows a number of common insufficiencies in the digital-culture. This isn’t restricted to the hotel industry, with others around the world also failing to measure up.

There are three main areas of concern flagged up by the research: an innate departmental silo mentality, a lack of risk-taking and an inability to form a business-wide consensus on customer needs. The research is relevant to companies in all areas and industries but serves particularly as a warning to the hotel and hospitality industry.

Silo mentality

In an increasingly digital world, a hotel chain cannot hope to find success if it is not able to unify all internal departments under a clear, digitally driven set of business ideals and goals. Larger hotel chains which consist of numerous departments will struggle to stay competitive in a digitalised industry if their internal departments are not working conjunctively. A silo mentality can be detrimental to businesses across a host of operational concerns. In the age of information, if data is not being shared between internal departments a hotel chain will struggle to expand or improve its service. This can also have a significant impact on marketing effectiveness and ROI.

Embracing change

Many managers and business operators often fall into an economic rut due to a lack of innovation and a fear of engaging with new markets or trends. This is often the case with companies that have experienced a stint of success and subsequently adopted the belief that they have discovered the secret to success. Unfortunately, trends change and hotels especially cannot hope to compete against the rise of online travel agents and other digital challenges if they are reluctant to take risks.

Gadget Friendly

The ability to innovate and take calculated risks on emerging trends is a vital step towards success in the digital world. Hilton are a great example of how beneficial embracing change can be. It is a brand that has managed to stay competitive in the hospitality industry for over 100 years and still continues to grow. This continued success has been down to the chain’s ability to identify emerging market trends, integrate new technologies and highlight internal structural problems through self-analysis.

Digital strategy

Among the findings of the study, McKinsey illustrates an overall lack of ability to comprehend digital trends in the world of business. This poses a particular problem for hotels today as the industry is rapidly moving online.

In the wake of a digital movement and increasing competition from aggregate websites and OTAs, it’s more important than ever for hotels to develop a more strategized marketing system that utilises new technologies and engages with consumers through new channels. Shaking off old habits and outdated mantras is an important step towards improving internal operations, appealing to a wider consumer base and ultimately increasing revenue streams.