Keys to Success

By Robert Webb Print this article Print

Under its Innovation Collaborative, Hilton partnered with five global tech leaders to help the company manage its growth and focus on core competencies.


Throughout this experience, we have identified the following key success factors:

•    Driving collaboration among partners: It’s important to bring strategic partners together to work as a team. Partners must feel empowered and comfortable reaching out to one another, bringing forth ideas, sharing observed risks and working through interdependencies.

•    Early adherence to the governance process: It’s critical to ensure that effective governance processes are in place and being followed prior to contract commencement in order to prevent loss of the expected contract value. If you allow value leakage and it goes unchecked over time, it becomes difficult to realize the benefits of your business case and can be very difficult to correct. 

• Focusing the efforts of the internal IT team: The internal IT organization must change the focus of both the collective mission and the individual roles. When technology is fully in-house, the team directs how things should be done. When it is outsourced, however, the focus should be on what needs to be done, leveraging the wealth of the partners’ best practices to determine the “how.”   

The Innovation Collaborative provides us with a strong competitive advantage. Most companies in the hotel industry have both owned and franchised assets, where many employees on the technology side come from within the industry. However, this homegrown model cannot do on its own all the development and support that the hotels need.

I came from the financial services industry and brought that experience to Hilton Worldwide. We decided to do these things differently than what’s typical in the hotel industry by partnering with external companies that are experts in their specific industries. This allows us to surpass what we were able to do alone in the past and lets us focus on a strategy for getting our hotels the technology they need.

As a result, we’ve seen dramatic changes in our business operations. We now have new capabilities; an enhanced focus on the guest experience; improved project productivity; enhanced, environmentally friendly data center efficiency; and greater high-speed Internet access.

In addition, we’ve increased network capacity, provided greater functionality for our IT network, and driven down infrastructure and bandwidth costs.

Our owners and guests are reaping the benefits of the Innovation Collaborative. By streamlining IT services, owners have a greater opportunity for growth at the property level, both for themselves and their business. Our guests experience additional convenience and efficiency—from booking their rooms to accessing the Internet.

Robert Webb is the CIO of Hilton Worldwide. His international skills have been sharpened through past executive experience with Accenture, General Electric and Equifax.


This article was originally published on 2011-10-03
eWeek eWeek

Have the latest technology news and resources emailed to you everyday.