Tech Talk: common travel technology issues and how to resolve them

Lemax Tech Talk
Lemax Tech Talk

Travel technology has brought significant transformation to the industry, with many businesses introducing different types of technology to help them handle everyday tasks. However, this doesn’t always resolve the core issues at hand. In this Tech Talk column, Lemax explores three common issues that their partners and clients experience: legacy systems, unconnected systems, and horizontal SaaS.

A Blast From The Past – Legacy Systems

A legacy system is a one which might be based on dated technologies but is vital to everyday operations. However, a legacy system is not always defined by its age. It might be labeled as such due to a lack of support or its inability to meet the demands of a business or organisation. Due to its architecture, underlying technology, or design, such software is typically very difficult to maintain or integrate with any new systems.

Many travel companies still use such systems because, why fix something if it’s not completely broken? While legacy systems fulfill their business needs to a degree, they leave no room for future-proofing. Instead of offering companies the latest capabilities and services, such as cloud computing and better data integration, a legacy system keeps a company in a business rut. Its maintenance is difficult and fairly expensive, while the data is often stuck in silos and, as such, not easily accessible across the company. Further on, data security measures are often outdated, compliance is much harder, and failure to comply with industry regulations could potentially be very costly.

Most importantly, due to its older code, it tends not to support integrations or interactions with new technology, which is a must for travel companies in this day and age. Imagine all the possibilities out there (bed banks, channel managers, GDSs, itinerary builders, etc) and not being able to integrate into them. It limits the company’s further growth and induces unnecessary manual work. Legacy systems lack agility, innovation and scalability, resulting in lost business opportunities.

Multiple Tools That Are Not Mutually Connected

It’s only natural to want to invest in a variety of systems and tools that fit the needs of a department at a certain point in time. As companies grow, their requirements and software needs change. Each piece of software may serve its purpose for a specific task, but it does not always benefit the overall picture. Your accounting team uses one software, your sales team another, while the support and success teams work on a completely different tool.

Systems that are not interconnected or integrated don’t allow data to pass through them seamlessly. Consequently, manual data import is still required, and all the documentation needs to be double-checked. Data ends up scattered, sometimes duplicated, resulting in costly errors. If data is not refreshed in real-time, reports may end up outdated. Due to all of this, the communication between different departments lag.

Horizontal Saas – One Size Does Not Fit All

SaaS, defined as a cloud-based subscription service, makes software easily accessible over the internet. It eliminates the need to install software onto your computer, allowing for frequent upgrades and support. The SaaS provider is responsible for keeping the product up-to-date, and the user gets immediate access to the most current version. Users subscribe to the software and usually pay a monthly or annual license fee. Out of many different SaaS options, many travel companies opt for horizontal SaaS, unaware that there are more suitable options.

Horizontal SaaS is software that caters to a wide range of customers rather than focusing on a niche. It is a mass-market solution designed to satisfy the needs of as many industries and companies as possible. Many travel companies have settled and opted for a horizontal SaaS solution and adapted their business to the software instead of the other way around. It solved some of their issues and digitalised the company to a certain degree, but many issues stayed unresolved. In its nature, horizontal SaaS focuses on satisfying a wide range of business issues with no specific industry in mind, which helps the vendor lower its license costs. Unfortunately, one size does not fit all in the case of travel companies. Travel is one of the most fragmented, complex, and diverse industries out there. For travel companies, using horizontal solutions more often than not means settling and creating complicated ways to be able to use such solutions for their business.

So What’s The Solution?

For each of these common technology issues, straightforward solutions are available. If these problems sound familiar to your business then click here for more information and advice from Lemax.