BCD travel -- emerging tech and travel management
5 Apr 2019 - by
Blockchain, chatbots, machine learning, virtual reality (VR) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are among the emerging technologies capturing the imagination of the business travel community. These innovations have the potential to be truly disruptive forces. But precisely how they will change corporate travel, and how travel buyers can prepare, isn’t yet clear.
We’ll help you understand how these emerging technologies can deal with some of the challenges you face in managing different parts of your travel programmes.
This report takes a closer look at how technologies like machine learning, can transform sourcing by making it more dynamic and enabling real-time engagement with traveller management. Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence where computers predict the future by autonomously learning from the past.
By sourcing, we mean:
Emerging technologies promise many improvements, which together can make sourcing more dynamic and support smarter, more compliant booking by travellers.
The use of algorithms driven by rapid, cloud-based processing of huge data sets, already allows buyers to analyse spend and supplier pricing faster and smarter than a few years ago.
Machine learning is now taking these intelligent sourcing processes to the next level.
Machine learning will also combine with CIAM (customer identity and access management) technology to provide new insights into traveller preferences and buying habits. These can be used to develop smarter personalisation, making it easier to influence traveller behaviour.
It doesn’t just USE algorithms – it BUILDS them to pick out patterns from data and provide recommendations within predefined parameters. And by identifying irregular booking patterns, it can help to prevent fraud, too.
Essentially, machine learning enables a system to audit, analyse and act.
Improve compliance with personalised messaging:
Improve compliance with hotels travellers like:
Save Money by capping hotel rates:
Save money by making sourcing dynamic:
How emerging technology can transform travel sourcing
Day after tomorrow
This is how we see the application of these emerging technologies to travel sourcing. But things are changing fast, and some developments may happen more quickly than we expect.
The emerging technologies we’ve reviewed can make corporate travel sourcing faster and smarter. But innovation is not without risks and practical obstacles. Here are three challenges
Updating technology can be costly and time consuming. Parts of the travel industry still use very old technology. Even today, travellers may need to confirm a hotel room by phone or fax. Many hotels also continue to depend on a broad range of (often ageing) property management systems. These simply wouldn’t be able to feed data into a smart contract sitting on a blockchain. Buyers will therefore have to run any new technologies they introduce in parallel with the much older processes still used by some suppliers. This will cause more fragmentation and less consistency.
Emerging technologies offer improved security to individual users. For example, blockchain will make payment more secure, as travellers will no longer need to carry credit cards. But an increased overall reliance on machines and digitisation increases systemic risk. The more data stored in one place – particularly personal information – the greater the risk for catastrophic data security breaches and the heavier the protection measures needed.
Data protection legislation
Companies risk breaching data protection laws if they lose or leak personal data. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has substantially increased the penalties for companies anywhere in the world, if their actions (or negligence) result in breaches of personal data of EU citizens. But there are two other ways that GDPR presents challenges for new sourcing technologies.
Getting the best from emerging technology
Emerging technologies can help to restore sourcing as a highly effective way of managing travel costs. The various technologies will make the travel buyer-supplier relationship much more dynamic. Tools using these technologies will:
Travel manager checklist
To make the best of the opportunities these new technologies present, we recommend that you:
Get new-tech ready:
Understand relevant legislation:
About BCD Travel
BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. For travellers, this means keeping them safe and productive, and equipping them to make good choices on the road. For travel and procurement managers, it means advising them on how to grow the value of their travel programme. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com/za