IHG is upgrading its IT systems and moving applications to the public cloud to remain afloat in a hospitality market where consumers have come to expect high-tech amenities ranging from mobile check-ins to robot concierges.
Hotel chains have long under-invested in technology, opting to focus on white-glove customer service and other offerings that have a cachet of cool. A raft of high-profile data breaches, coupled with the rise of Airbnb and other flexible lodging alternatives, has hoteliers racing to bring their systems up to par. The trick: modernizing IT while curbing costs.
IHG’s transformation, for which the company has earned a 2019 CIO 100 Award in IT Excellence, is saving the company between $33 million and $38 million a year. IHG CIO Laura Miller is leading the way.
Transformation requires earning trust
Miller joined IHG from First Data in 2013, after she got a call from then CIO Eric Pearson, who needed a tech leader experienced in running large-scale systems and who could clean up technical debt that accumulated from years of acquisitions.