Cruising Industry IT Challenge
Cruise company IT departments support the backbone of the operations through 2 main avenues:
- Day to day support of business operations, where stability of functional capability, security of data and the network, and continuity of service delivery are paramount.
- Support of business improvement, through the implementation of advanced functionality, continuous efficiency refinements, and strategic business alignment are key.
The industry's specific technology requirements, budgeting, and advances in high-tech need to feed in to this infrastructure continually to keep up with business growth and competitive challenges. Like any other industry, the cruising industry faces specific challenges in IT operations.
not Caught UP with Growth
While the cruising industry has experienced steady growth since the early 90's, cruise companies have, to a certain degree, struggled to match a concurrent level of complexity in their enterprise-class IT technologies. Dispersed technologies and limited options in IT and technology service providers cause business process inefficiencies across many cruising companies.
Negative Impact of Lagging IT
- Poor market segment targeting
- Poor holistic understanding of the customer and their touchpoints
- Poor understanding of the “Customer Journey”
- Poor customer interaction during the “Booked Not Departed” (BND) period
Call center impact
- Poor system performance
- Poor usability of individual systems at the agents’ desktop
- Extended sales call time
- Reduced understanding of the customer in the call center
Financial / business impact
- Sub-optimal resource management (hotels, transportation, etc.)
- Data security risks
- Missed revenue opportunity for BND and onboard passengers
- Reduced conversion rates for sales departments
Consolidation / M&A
While experiencing industry consolidation, cruise companies will face significant challenges in consolidating their internal operations and back-end processes, directly impacting IT organizations. The challenges include but are not limited to:
- Multiple internal IT systems: reservation, CRM, BI, etc.
- Organizational inefficiencies
- Missed opportunity for economies of scale
Consolidation of IT systems, while creating efficiencies and cost savings over time, requires considerable planning and upfront costs for implementation and change management.
Geographic / local services
With a shift in demographics to younger passengers, and now older passengers becoming more tech savvy, cruise companies are faced with providing seamless technology access throughout the cruising experience. The related IT requirements include but are not limited to:
- Shoreside / shipside / headquarters integration
- Internet access on the ships
- On-ship on-demand entertainment
- Other incremental passenger services
As with many other industries, cruising industry requires specific systems tailored to its needs, such as reservation systems, CRM, etc. Within the cruising industry, one of the main challenges is lack of extensive availability of industry-specific technologies. This results in various issues including:
- Management of small entrepreneurial vendor
- In-depth design & customization requirements
- Rare experienced personnel retention