Should the reservation platform fit the business or vice versa?
10th April 2014
From online travel agents to hotel aggregators, weighing up the needs of your business against the confines of your current system can produce some tough questions. For businesses looking to grow and expand their current product offering, understanding what you need from a new system can seem even more difficult.
But although every operator is looking for the perfect platform, the nature of reservation system development ensures that no system is going to offer a 100% solution immediately. But how much should you be aiming for in terms of system perfection?
Prioritise your requirements
Given the costs and restructuring involved in changing a reservation platform, many operators will be looking for a comprehensive system capable of fulfilling all of their requirements. In some instances however it’s better to understand which of those requirements are ‘must haves’ and which are ‘nice to haves,’ so that must haves can be prioritised and focussed on. This is particularly useful when timescales are tight and ‘nice to haves’ are delayed to a second phase of functionality updates. Being pragmatic and accepting the 90% solution rather than striving for complete perfection, can often be more effective in the long run.
Find the right balance
It can be easy to focus on all of the problems that you experience on a day to day basis with your reservation platform when thinking about a switch. Do not forget however about the way your system handles the bread-and-butter elements, those bits of functionality that it does well, you need to balance what you are carrying over, with what needs to be new.
For example, if your current system fails to handle multiple bookings or has a poor number of connections it’s important to prioritise these issues, but not for the sake of key back-end functions, such as financial reporting, that are operationally fundamental.
Don’t fight the fundamentals
It’s also important to realise that all IT systems are built on a certain fundamentals. But while adding innovative functionality and inventive new features is important, it’s equally vital to not start changing the foundations of what your system is already built upon. As well as adding friction to the process of changing system, comprehensive redevelopment can also see your organisation endure a far more time-consuming and costly process.
Although no system should prevent a business from growing, the nature of travel software development does mean that being realistic during a switching process is key. Ultimately, finding a balance between what you want from a system and your core functionality requirements, and adopting a logical approach to considering these needs will help to ensure that both reservation platform and business work in harmony.