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The critical case for innovation in corporate travel

Debbie Iannaci

Director, Corporate Communications, North America, Amadeus IT Group

An often-referenced phrase in technology and other industries for well over a decade has been “Innovate or Die” which conveys the critical importance of business evolution at the risk of being left behind. Technology is a significant enabler of change in many industries and that includes corporate travel where travelers and their tools are an inseparable combination. Amadeus recognizes that continuous innovation and technology is key to corporate travel management

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An often-referenced phrase in technology and other industries for well over a decade has been “Innovate or Die ” which conveys the critical importance of business evolution at the risk of being left behind.

Technology is a significant enabler of change in many industries and that includes corporate travel where travelers and their tools are an inseparable combination. Amadeus recognizes that continuous innovation and technology is key to corporate travel management

And future generations of business travellers will demand even better tools from their managed travel programs than they have today.  From personalized content, interactivity, access to real-time information and the ability to share original content, the expectations for innovation, being driven by consumer technology trends, are quickly trickling into managed travel programs.

That’s why Amadeus is excited to sponsor the recently released report, “Travel Tech: Innovating Now” , published by The BTN Group . The report examines where the industry is today while providing insight to help corporate travel programs innovate with new technologies moving forward.

Revealing a great divide

The report surveyed travel managers and travel management company (TMC) representatives which revealed interesting differences in their feelings toward current travel management technology tools.

Overall, TMCs reported that their managed travel technology solutions were “excellent” or “good.”

On the other hand, travel managers were not as keen on their solutions with many reporting they felt today’s solutions were only “average.”

Travel managers reported they want more intuitive interfaces and enhanced mobile solutions – products TMCs feel they are currently offering.  But a majority of TMC respondents did not name user interfaces nor mobile travel solutions as areas for improvement.

So what might be fueling this great divide? The reason appears to be two-fold: TMCs may not be offering the full suite of technology solutions that corporate travel managers need and travel buyers are not always able to implement and integrate the technological upgrades currently available.

Innovators leading the charge for change

Traditionally, change management, although it provides a well-defined roadmap, takes more time and involves layered processes that can actually hinder real travel program innovation and success, no matter how eager a group of the most excited managers might be to embrace change.

To keep up with the pace of technology and encourage fast-paced adoption, according to the report, a bolder approach to change should be considered with innovators, not processes, leading the charge.

Identifying the change agent

The report offers that TMCs and corporate travel managers need to empower their innovation leaders. The innovation leader, standing on a foundation of trust and a strong reputation for making credible decisions, is in a position to take the initiative to get buy-in from the rest of the group and the green light to execute. A true “Agent of Change,” the innovation leader recognizes that nothing is done in a vacuum and plans for the ripple effects new travel technology solutions could have on the rest of the organization, either directly or indirectly. As a result, everyone in an organization can be comfortable with change and technological innovation can move forward to ultimately improve the traveller experience.

For more details and data about the barriers to travel innovation and what it takes to overcome them, have a look at the full report: Travel Tech: Innovating Now.


Tags

North America, Corporate Travel, Mobile, Research