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Barry Shuler

Barry Shuler

Senior Vice President IT Strategy and CTO
Marriott International, Inc.
What are some of your responsibilities?
My role is to support Marriott in adopting appropriate emerging technologies and applications for business value. As Marriott’s CTO and the leader of our IT strategy efforts, I partner with my business peers to understand their requirements; research, analyze and test emerging and existing technologies; and recommend technology adoption to drive innovation for Marriott. 

In my research, my focus is on applications and technologies that are farther out on the strategic horizon – somewhere between four and 10 years.  Using this information, my team and I predict which of these technologies will make it into common usage and/or that have the potential to radically change the hospitality and travel game (i.e., disruptive technologies).  Having made that determination, I then educate both Marriott’s business and technology functions on the implications of these technologies within the near-term planning horizon.

What do you like most about your job?
I love staying abreast of new technologies and envisioning how Marriott can apply them to our business.  It’s a passion of mine to identify and pick the right emerging technologies that will help us improve guest satisfaction, while also driving profitability for our owners and franchisees and for Marriott.

What do you like least about your job?
Besides the amount of time I spend on the road?  I would say it is how long it takes to transition from old to new technologies and systems. Of course, this is more than a lodging industry challenge; I would face this in any industry and at any company where you have a large base of users and technology, with such variable requirements around the globe.

Where did you go to school? What was your major?
University of South Carolina, BS Electronics & Communications Engineering

What is your favorite movie?
The Matrix

What is your favorite song?
Where Are You Tonight? (Journey through Dark Heat) by Bob Dylan

What is your favorite line from a movie or song?
'I have become comfortably numb,' from Pink Floyd's The Wall

What was your first job?
Installation task engineer, safeguard anti-ballistic missile systems, Western Electric Company

What was your most interesting day at work?
January 1, 2000.  Even with all of the planning we did for Y2K, it was interesting to know that right after 11:59:59 p.m., our efforts would be put to the true test. Needless to say, when it all worked as planned, the next day was a very good one.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
It depends on how much money I won!  If I had enough money to formally stop “working,” I would stay home with my wife Sue instead of being on the road so much.  Although, I can’t actually picture myself stopping work entirely; there’s too much left to learn.

When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing?
I love listening to music, both live and recorded, watching sports, including NASCAR racing, reading and playing golf.

What is the next technology to impact the hospitality industry?
From my perspective, the next technology to impact and benefit the hospitality industry will be ubiquitous wireless broadband over the wide area network at higher than 1 mbps speeds.

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