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Well, I had a topic all lined up for this week’s column. I had completed most of the research and sat down on Monday to start writing. But with all that is going on in the world, I decided to put that on the shelf for a cycle or two. No one is going to take the time to read anything right now that doesn’t talk about the novel Coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease. So, I started afresh and will diverge from my usual approach.

Last week, the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19—the viral disease that has swept the globe and killed more than 8,200 people—is officially a pandemic. And on Saturday, the Trump administration extended the ban on foreign nationals from certain European countries to include those traveling from the United Kingdom and Ireland. Industry conferences and meetings have been cancelled or postponed, and many companies are electing not to require employees to travel.

Leading Through Chaos
Posted: 03/18/2020

At this time there is no more important tool in your tool kit then your ability to lead people through the storm. Most leaders have their heads in revising budgets, dealing with layoffs, cutting costs and surviving all of which are real realities that need attention. So do your people!

It was 12 years ago that the hotel industry first experienced a large breach of payment card data. Hotels and technology vendors have made very significant efforts since then, yet it is hard to identify a major hotel group that has NOT suffered at least one incident, and many breaches have been quite recent. Despite all the efforts, the Verizon 2019 Data Breach Investigation Report says that the accommodation industry is still the most common victim for Point-of-Sale (POS) intrusions (and based on their terminology, this includes breaches of Property Management Systems as well as POS systems). As much as hotels have improved security, hackers have improved their own methods to keep pace.

It's that time of year when powder hounds and snow bunnies alike head out to the mountains, rip some turns or cruise down a groomer. And no matter if you’re a solo adventurer or a group enthusiast, there's some impressive technologies that the ski industry has launched that have gamified the entire experience and feed the hungry social media fanatics. For decades many have stated this industry has been behind on the technology curve, however some of these applications could definitely be transferred into the hotel industry with some creative alterations.

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Enterprise Systems Pitfalls Part I: Intro

by Mark Loyd

Are we getting the economic return we should be with new technology innovation? In this article, I’m starting a series reflecting on common weaknesses in enterprise systems development, and am going to try to unpack as concisely as I can these pitfalls we fall into. We’ll analyze why we stumble into these problems, our struggle recognizing the root causes, and the results.
I Googled ‘technology’ and found this at the top, “The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.” One thing we’ve lost in most our software technology companies today is the actual science of what we are doing. I don’t know metrics on this, and can only speak from my experience, but you may also have a similar perception: Many of our software developers, even lead architects, aren’t naturally all that scientific in how they view things or think about problems. They have learned through trial and error how to manipulate instructions on the surface of hugely complicated systems to solve problems, but don’t fundamentally understand the system they are building within.
If technology is meant to solve problems using science, and the problems of business are always related to economics, then why is our software not getting faster, cheaper and more functional? Aren’t those the important characteristics of improving technology? Yet we seem to be spending more time, more money and more energy solving a lot of the same problems. Are projects delivered on time? Are they completed within budget? Are the software packages solving your company’s or client’s real problems better than your previous solution? The answer to these questions too often is a resounding, no.
So, how do we make software that is faster, cheaper and more functional? It starts with how we think. Most pitfalls encountered in enterprise systems start with wrong thinking. Wrong thinking leads to quick conclusions, inadequate due diligence, uncorrelated facts, upside-down priorities and logical fallacies. The biggest promoter of this is an industry that continually reinforces poor practices based on the same type of thinking. I myself have fallen into many of these same traps because arguments often look, sound and feel good. It’s modern and sophisticated, but foundationally flawed in a way that most do not discern. What I want to unpack for you is what I’ve discovered are the common pitfalls derived from these hidden flaws.
Stayed tuned and we’ll start exploring specific enterprise system pitfalls in my next article, starting with the pitfall of over abstraction.
About The Author
Mark Loyd
Jonas Chorum

Mark has two passions… technology and the outdoors. Starting his technology career in the late '90s as a software developer for a property management system, he quickly worked his way through the ranks and entered his first leadership position in 2000, managing a team of 5 developers. Twenty years later, having served as COO, CSO, CTO, and now president, Mark leads a talented team of 120 people that follow his passion and vision in making Jonas Chorum a technology leader in the hospitality industry. 

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