Coming soon: The ultimate industry architecture
Computerworld - Standardization of business and IT processes is increasing. Many corporations are building enterprise architectures, and a number of industries have formed standards for sharing data. For example, banks use Federal Reserve standards for clearing checks. The grocery industry uses the Uniform Communication Standard for communication among food manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Oil companies have standards that facilitate the purchase, shipment and trading of gas and oil.
The hotel industry is the first to be applying enterprise architecture concepts across an entire industry. When completed, the industry architecture (IA) will describe nearly all the business processes, applications, data and technology required to operate a hotel or resort. Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), a global consortium of the industry's major stakeholders, is leading the effort.
The IA isn't envisioned as merely an agreement among IT staffers at large chains. It's an industrywide effort that must meet the needs of multiple stakeholders such as these:
- Hotel chains. Large chains own many hotel brands. For example, Marriott includes Ritz-Carlton, Residence Inn and Fairfield Inn. The consistent business practices specified by the IA will help individual hotels meet various requirements established by their parent brands.
- Ownership companies. These provide capital to buy, operate and refurbish hotel properties. They often own hotels in multiple chains. The IA will provide consistent operational data and financial reporting across brands and chains.
- Management companies. These manage the hotels' day-to-day operations. The IA will help them comply with brand standards regarding all aspects of daily hotel functions, such as registration, checkout, cleaning and maintenance.
- Technology companies. Manufacturers and service providers supply IT-enabled devices and services to hotels, from guest-room consumer electronics to POS devices. By clearly specifying hotel needs, the IA will help providers target products and services.
- Developers. Architects and construction firms make many hardware decisions that affect hotel operations. The IA will describe capabilities required for hotel technology, such as for room locks, LAN wiring and HVAC controls.
HTNG's IA will accommodate hotel properties of all sizes, from small hotels with as few as 30 rooms to large resorts with thousands of rooms and elaborate dining, conference and leisure facilities.
Since HTNG is a global consortium, the IA will also accommodate full internationalization, including local languages, character sets, date/time formats, measurements and postal codes. It will allow for differences in laws governing subjects as diverse as taxes, food safety, financial reporting and passport control.
HTNG's architecture working group has released the first version of the IA's business process architecture, which uses The Open Group Architecture Framework. The first version is limited to small hotels with only sleeping accommodations. Future releases will expand the architecture to include additional functions required to operate large hotels and resorts.
The working group is currently specifying the applications required to support each designated business process. HTNG's application architecture is expected to be approved during the second quarter of this year.
HTNG's industry architecture will provide a template for processes and applications that can be used worldwide. An industrywide architecture will improve interactions across the hotel industry, with benefits for stakeholders, hotel employees and, ultimately, hotel guests.
Moreover, this first industry architecture may inspire other industries by providing a model that standardizes communication and information-sharing among diverse industry participants.
- Read more from Bart Perkins.
Read more about Management in Computerworld's Management Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- The CIO's Guide to Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) This guide will help those making an EMM platform decision make the best choice for their organization.
- Yankee Group: BlackBerry Results Refute Rumors of its Demise Yankee Group: BlackBerry® is stronger than the press makes it out to be.
- Your New EMM Platform: How to Streamline the Migration Smartphone migration can be resource-intensive and challenging. Find out how outsourcing the process can save significant time and money.
- Live Webcast Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing...
- Testimonial: Cystic Fibrosis Trust Peter Hawkins, the Head of IT for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, discusses the role CommVault's Simpana software platform plays in improving the company's information...
- Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing... All Management White Papers | Webcasts