Benefits of Technology in Business

Those in business have come to rely on technology to keep them up-to-date, overcome the competition and inspire innovation. Technology is seamlessly integrated into everyday lives, as it is used to manage inventory, track contacts, make products and provide speedy internal and external communication venues. However, technology can also be a source for lost profits.


Having cutting-edge technology is an ongoing expense. There are initial purchasing costs, as well as ongoing maintenance, updates and training expenses. Should a system failure occur, loss of revenue can result due to loss of services rendered or product production halted.

The Disadvantages of Using Technology in Business

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The continuing evolution of information technology has had a considerable impact on the travel agency service industry. The widespread public use of the Internet has created a number of conditions that have been game-changers — in both beneficial and detrimental ways — to the modern travel agency. As a result, many travel agencies in the 21st century have had to make considerable adaptations to remain solvent and relevant.


With technology playing such a large role in the workplace, people have become disconnected from final products and each other. Job tasks are often delineated; therefore, fewer people are a part of the final creation. This can lead to dissatisfaction or workplace boredom. In addition to this, as more employees utilize technology in everyday communication, messages are being misunderstood, often making workers appear rude. People reading email, texts or instant messages, for instance, cannot accurately measure tone or utilize body language as points of reference. However, venues such as video conferencing eliminated some communication obstacles.


With cases frequently in the news, it is no surprise that there is a risk of cyber crime when utilizing technology. According to a U.S. Department of Justice news release, people as young as 21 are running technology-based crime rings, stealing consumer information and costing customers and companies millions of dollars. A 2007 Computer Security Institute survey reported there was $21.1 million lost due to financial fraud, $8.4 million to viruses, $6.9 million by system penetration by an outsider and $5.7 million due to confidential data theft. In addition to those problems were insider abusers costing organizations money due to mobile hardware theft and abuse of email or Internet privileges.


Aside from issues ceasing work production such as system failures, interruptions can include email and instant messages. According to CNET News, on average, it takes eight minutes for a person to return to a creative state. Some business people, such as Dan Russell, senior manager with IBM’s Almaden Research Center, has embraced daily disconnection. He checks email only twice daily and occasionally schedules out-of-office time to get creative. There are other forms of technology vying for employee time including online games, music and videos.


While computers have been an integral part of the travel agency business since their widespread adoption, the Information Age has brought considerable new benefits. Data can be stored more quickly than in the past thanks to higher-speed hardware and better software. Enterprise-level software such as Unit4’s CentralCommand allows travel agencies specialized programs dedicated exclusively to managing their businesses and organizing their data. This organization allows agencies to run more efficiently, preventing productivity losses due to input time and other tedious tasks.


Improved communications technology has greatly widened the ways in which a travel agency can communicate not only with customers, but also with business connections and partner services. High-speed Internet connections allow almost-instant video, voice and text communication across the globe — often at considerably less expense than traditional methods such as long-distance telephony can offer. Data can be sent almost instantaneously from the agency to an airline, hotel or other service, then relayed to customers. This allows bookings and coordination that might have taken hours or days to be processed almost instantly, greatly reducing wait times and lost productivity.

Self-Service Booking

One of the largest impacts on the travel agency has been the rise of online booking. Customers looking to book a trip no longer need to visit an agency — they can go online to companies such as Expedia or Priceline and book an entire trip themselves. Airlines and hotels themselves also have cut out the travel agent altogether by allowing customers to book tickets and lodging directly from their sites. That’s an unpleasant circumstance for travel agencies, who have traditionally relied on being seen as a necessary intermediary between customers and the services they require.

Customer Service is Key

Regardless of the collection method used, keep in mind the reason for doing so: to ensure exceptional customer service. Knowledge acquired about a customer is useless unless it enhances personal service. Systems that engage customers include customer loyalty programs, such as one that offers discounts or other amenities for repeat business. For example, an airline might track preferred seating information about its customers. After pertinent information is relayed to airline personnel, they can begin favorably seating customers where the data has indicated. The customers, in turn, may begin to prefer flying on that particularly accommodating airline, collecting mileage points or another type of loyalty premium for doing so.

Brick-and-Mortar Agencies

As more people book online, fewer people are heading into brick-and-mortar agencies and dealing directly with an agent. Pressure has also mounted on traditional agencies as airlines, hotels and other service providers they previously represented offer their services directly to customers online, cutting out the agency — and the commission. As travel agencies are essentially information brokerages that connect clients with services, these commissions are the foundational basis of the agency’s income and therefore many agencies have seen sharp income decline from in-person sales.

Changing Markets

Despite pressure from third parties and companies selling their products on their own websites, the travel agency business is not dead nor in danger of dying. According to Questex Travel Group, travel agents are still responsible for 77 percent of all cruise bookings, 73 percent of all package travel bookings, and 55 percent of all airline travel bookings. Like many service industries, the travel agency business is evolving to adapt to new technology. Many agencies are shifting focus to online services for traditional services such as airline and hotel bookings, while maintaining some physical stores where business is sufficient to do so.


While adaptation to new technology has subjected the travel agency industry to growing pains, the industry is still sound. Primary focus for most agencies has been directed to online sales, allowing clients the ability to book their trips without the constraints of office hours or worrying about their own schedules. The traditional travel agency will doubtlessly see further evolution as technology continues to advance — but as long as demand for packaged travel remains, there will still be a place for travel agencies both online and off.

Impact of Technology on the Travel Agency Business

Competition is fierce in the hospitality industry. Whether it’s a hotel chain, an airline, a cruise ship company or a restaurant, businesses are utilizing the most up-to-date systems for improving guest satisfaction. Technology and other means can be used to learn what customers prefer, enabling a business to excel at providing top-notch service.

Technology plays an important role in the hospitality and tourism industry. Both customers and businesses can benefit from advances in communication, reservations and guest services systems. Technology allows continuous communication and streamlines the guest experience, from reservation to checkout.


The Internet has a powerful impact on hospitality and tourism. For many businesses and locations, the experience starts long before a traveler arrives–it begins with the first visit to the website, when a person sees photos of the location and gets a sense of what to expect. In the hospitality and tourism business, effective use of Internet technologies can improve revenue. Websites, blogs, online advertising, social media, online ordering and information repositories all help convince customers to choose a location or business.

Mobile Communication

Many travelers take some form of mobile communication device with them on the road, whether it is a tablet computer or a mobile phone. To keep customers advised of changes many tourism and hospitality businesses use mobile communication; they send delay notices, offer deals and sponsor location-based advertising. Depending on the type of business the communication might happen through emails, text messaging or GPS tagging, for example.

System Variety

Not all hospitality businesses use specialized computer software to record data. Some ask guests to fill out a printed survey card upon arrival, during their stay or upon departure. Social media outlets also are useful tools to learn customer preferences. Businesses encourage their customers to post comments about their experiences. Online surveys are also popular, as are other online systems enabling customers to write reviews about their visits. Databases created using readily available spreadsheet programs may be used to compile collected information, which is reviewed in advance of every subsequent visit. For example, if a hotel visitor indicates on a survey card that he is allergic to feathers, the hotel may provide a nonallergenic alternative — an accommodation likely to ensure his return.

Reservations Systems

Booking engines to allow easy access by consumers and travel professionals; the systems enable individuals to make reservations and compare prices. Many, like Expedia and Orbitz, are available through online interfaces. Booking engines cut costs for travel businesses by reducing call volume and give the traveler more control over their purchasing process.

Specialized Software Systems

A significant number of hospitality businesses — one survey of a group of marketers put the figure at 94.3 percent — attempt to increase productivity by learning their guests’ predilections. The use of special data collection software is an effective means of discerning guest satisfaction. Several types of software on the market can serve this purpose. For restaurants, for example, computer programs can glean data from people who make reservations, such as the type of wine preferred or any indication of allergies. Bartenders can track customers’ drink orders and use the information to have a customer’s favorite drink prepared even before it’s been ordered. Many hotels employ similar software to capture information ranging from which board games children in a family enjoy to details about a pet that accompanies the family.

Computer Systems

Because many tourism businesses are large and dispersed, they use computer systems to stay connected. Computer systems allow communication between branches and locations which makes it easier to streamline reservations and cross-company policies. They are also used internally to keep all of the staff on the same page and make it easier to access information that can improve the guest experience: guest preferences, housekeeping information and reservation details can all be kept on a single system.

Know the Limits

There can come a point when a business should draw the line on data collection. For example, some businesses use the Internet to search for more personal information about arriving guests in an attempt to be more obliging. One hotel searched online for — and found — a photo of a family of arriving guests, framed it and placed it in the room as a welcoming gift to encourage the guests to feel more at home. That might be appreciated by some, but it could be perceived by others as an egregious invasion of privacy.


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