Top opportunities in the travel and transport industry that emerging technologies are enabling
What does the future hold for Hospitality, Travel, Leisure – Transportation & Logistics (HTL-TL)? These interconnected industries serving consumers and commercial entities in the areas of tourism, transport and logistics have faced a multitude of challenges in the past few years. In response, innovation is abound to ensure this sector supports the future of the movement of people, products, goods, materials and concepts, both digitally and physically.
The state of immense disruption in an era of already fast-paced change has been caused by multiple colliding factors. Climate change is an increasingly urgent concern and HTL-TL companies are some of the largest producers of the emissions that are contributing to the climate emergency. Practices have to change if the stark predictions by scientists are to be avoided. Digitalization has transformed the nature of communications and exchanges including buying and selling.
The HTL-TL sector is operating within new global economic models due to the evolution of supply chains and manufacturing bases as well as a wider spread of economic activity. Finally, the aftermath of the pandemic continues to impact consumer behavior around leisure activities like travel, entertainment and hospitality.
Such disruption has inevitably led to evolutionary innovation. So, how can the HTL-TL sector benefit from the ongoing changes it faces?
The top 3 opportunities in the travel and transportation sector
The best chance HTL-TL has of evolving to suit the current situation is to embrace emerging technologies and increasing connectivity across the sector. This will increase efficiency, build resilience and improve agility to future-proof despite disruption. There are 3 change opportunities of particular value to this sector.
The networked or distributed cloud
While the cloud has already been introduced in many organizations within the HTL-TL sector, the networked cloud doubles down on the potential of this technology by enabling integration between parties operating within the environment of rapid transportation. The cloud has evolved to be more than a home for data centers with network and automation becoming standard features, turning it into a collaborative and composable service.
Advanced interconnectivity is essential for those in transportation and logistics because they are innately distributed and collaborative industries with a multitude of players being involved in a single transport system or supply chain. The networked cloud is the infrastructure for distributed intelligence that ensures true connectivity, powering enhanced data flow and problem resolution in an otherwise unpredictable market.
Complementary services and experiences
What the HTL-TL industries offer their customers and the experience they provide are expanding. For example, mobility as a service (MaaS) is a top riser as it ensures the secure and efficient travel of people and transport of items despite issues with transport safety, congestion and changing consumer habits. With the oversaturation of options, on-demand services disrupt the norm as they allow users to select the elements they need through highly intuitive interfaces.
Another in-demand service is the ability to meet legal and security requirements across jurisdictions because many companies in this sector operate in multiple countries. Automated compliance would improve efficiency greatly. There is also opportunity to take advantage of extended reality capabilities to elevate remote experiences like watching a sporting event or controlling a crane enabled by AR and VR or by metaverse headsets.
The value of integration is only becoming more apparent. For example, the sector relies on strong links between different management centers and that requires critical infrastructure for data links and other necessary connections. There are also new emerging relationships that were previously uncommon. With the move towards Environmental Social Governance (ESG), public and private partnerships are proving effective in achieving mutual goals.
The environment priority has also led to the forming of vital relationships with those in environmental management organizations such as energy and water utilities and waste and recycling companies. With the complex systems often seen in HTL-TL industries to build our tomorrow, as an example the forming of smart cities, strong interconnectivity is a must.
The system of change: SAP Business Core
To harness the potential of these innovations HTL-TL companies need a technology system they can rely on. We have found that many industry leaders already have SAP at the core of their systems because of its advanced capabilities in managing systems of record for Transactional and Master Data sets and providing an unambiguous view of finances and operations. As one of a small number of Global Business Partners, NTT DATA has unique insight and experience with SAP Business Core.
With S/4HANA at the center supported by industry-specific SAP applications, the resulting technology stack can elevate the following key priorities of HTL-TL businesses utilizing change opportunities.
Building customer intimacy
Customer experience is critical to the survival of businesses today so industry leaders need to work on improving individual relationships with customers through impactful personalization and an immersive experience. SAP compatible technologies such as data analysis, machine learning and a stream of new service options to meet the needs of individual use cases will put companies miles ahead of competitors.
Differentiating market position
To stay ahead businesses need to bring to market imaginative solutions to emerging problems. Simply, industry leaders do things differently. An expandable offer suite is a future-proofed offer suite. The prepacked solutions SAP provides, for example SAP Digital Vehicle Hub, enables users to develop new business models efficiently. As a partner, we guide our clients through the process of connecting emerging technologies to the SAP core so our clients can leverage opportunities for differentiation such as technology that facilitates the creation of a metaverse.
Embracing the digital native reality
SAP realizes that digitalization will reach all areas of operation and enables users to adapt to the digital native reality and all the advantages it brings. Distributed management and easy collaboration is powered by an advanced data flow, intelligent operation and core SAP capabilities such as machine learning and high levels of automation.
Optimizing systems of assets
For a whole transport system or supply chain to be optimized, the individual assets within it, from vehicle fleets to handling systems in warehouses, need to be optimized. With SAP Intelligent Asset Management, companies can leverage remote management by gathering real-time data from IoT devices to proactively optimize performance and intervene with rerouting or maintain actions when needed. A high level of efficiency improves timeframes, cost-effectiveness and the lifetime value of assets.
NTT DATA is very familiar with servicing the HTL-TL industries and supporting them to embrace the multitude of disruptions and innovations they are experiencing. We combine sector-specific advice with relevant knowledge from our experience in other sectors when providing end-to-end management of transformations. Our position as strategic partners in facing the future is solidified by our expertise in strong Data Management solutions, Distributed Networks and Collaborative Working centered around SAP S/4HANA as well as our leadership in Intelligent Networks, AI, XR and the Metaverse.
From environmental concerns to changes in consumer behavior, the world of HTL-TL is shifting and if businesses want to keep up, they can’t afford to stand still. There are unmissable opportunities for growth when the innovations born out of change are utilized. New technologies and interconnectedness will shape the future. NTT DATA is your guide to change opportunities in HTL-TL.
Pedro Mur, NTT DATA SAP global offering lead for Travel and Transportation