It’s been a couple of weeks since we had a new post in our PMS Buyer’s Guide series, so we’re due for another one.
For those outside of the software industry, today’s post should peel back the curtain and be eye-opening to some of the industry’s inner workings.
In our last post we talked about how some companies invest in developing a great user experience and others don’t. Today we’ll focus on how companies invest in their product…and, you guessed it, how others don’t.
Technology’s Golden Rule
There’s a golden rule in technology – new is always better. This year’s laptop is better than last year’s. This software release is better than the previous. What’s latest in technology really is the greatest.
Mostly. There’s an important exception in that new entrants have to try very hard to make better technology than established players, and within enterprise level software like PMS, good luck. There’s a reason the big dogs stay big year after year.
At this point you might be wondering…
What Does This Have to Do with PMS Software?
There are some companies that invest very heavily in ongoing development. They genuinely strive to produce great software and to make that software better year over year, adding in new features and improving the technology behind it. On the other hand, there are companies that have built software and are now content to maintain it mostly as-is, barely adding in upgrades.
You can’t just build software once and two decades later be using the same code. That code needs to be enhanced as new technologies become available and old ones are depreciated. Fall too far behind and the new entrants genuinely will have created better software than a laggard established player.
How To Become Dated
Imagine you build a new hotel – given your industry you might have done that. At first it’s new and modern, guests flock in. Of course you have housekeepers and maintenance personnel to do the upkeep…but what if you don’t replace things? Over time items start to fall apart and the decor starts to look dated. Your ratings online decrease and fewer guests stay at your property.
This analogy aligns closely to the software industry. A new piece of software will be modern. Maintenance and housekeeping is like bug fixes. Issues arise when software companies, like hotels, don’t invest in making their products notably better year after year by renovating and replacing dated components.
The companies who stay up to date are leaps and bounds ahead of the companies that fall behind – because who wants to be using a system that’s built on 20 year old technology?
(Let’s remember that 20 years ago you were groaning every time Windows 95 crashed)
And this stacks year over year in an insane way. Take 2 software companies that launch today with similar products. One company continues to invest $300k/year into development (which would be very low), and the other company invests $3 million/year.
After a decade, one company has invested $3 million total, the other $30 million.
It’s not hard to see which organization will have the better software.
So, when choosing PMS software be sure to select a vendor that makes substantial investments in software development (it’s a simple question to ask when qualifying providers). Technology will continue to change, you want your PMS software to stay up-to-date.