The digital transformation playbook represents a new way for hotels to help employees take ownership and accountability of the task ahead during challenging times.


Inside this digital transformation playbook for hotels is everything you need to master the employee and customer journey in context with the digital transformation plan.

The digital transformation playbook represents a new unique way for hotels to embrace content and social media management.

Over the last couple of years, many hotels have been talking about the personalization of the customer experience. Though data tells us that several brands including hotels have trouble delivering it.

With the digital transformation playbook, we shift focus towards creating tribes that will help hotels amplify collective digital experiences.

A successful digital transformation formula is very simple;

Digital Transformation = Digital Tribe + Collective Digital Experience


Create a New Digital Transformation CultureCreating a new digital transformation culture often is very low on the list, or not at the list at all.

One of the major effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that the digital transformation process has accelerated up to the top of almost every brand’s list.

Digital transformation today represents a dramatic change in conditions and character.

And it will require investments in new digital tools that support day-to-day operations.

Disruptions require alternative solutions

Fast forward-looking to the reality today COVID-19 has disrupted all the traditional hotel processes.

Hotels are today forced to look at alternative solutions if they want to survive.

Hotels need to understand that digital transformation is not just about disruption or technology. It’s about value innovation, a growth mindset, people, optimization, and the capability to rapidly adapt when such is needed through smarter use of technologies and information.

Creating a collaborative digital transformation culture

In this fast-paced disruption, hotels have to be able to respond quickly to changing employee and customer demands.

Pursue your hotel’s digital transformation process by defining short-term alternatives and deliverables.

Flexibility is essential for any hotel brand to thrive in today’s challenging environment.


Get your team onboardToday hotels need to adapt to a new reality that is better prepared for new unknown challenges and that builds around a positive and high-value employee experience.

The digital transformation process is a unique opportunity for hotels to co-create a new and bright future with employees.

One of the reasons many brands have failed when it comes to personalization and digital transformation is that they overlooked the employee experience.

Through a new unique digital transformation process, hotels need to focus on value innovation, a growth mindset and empower employees turning them into happier, more productive, and effective in day-to-day operations.

As a result, employees will turn into digital transformation hotel advocates creating a unique tribe that supports a community with large networks.

Co-creation with employees is essential to succeed with the digital transformation process:

  • Empower and involve your employees in the digital transformation process
  • Invest in the right digital tools that embrace internal and external communications
  • Embrace flexibility with your employees work situation
  • Co-create alternative solutions
  • Design a workspace for maximum employee experience


Create a Digital Tranformation Journey MapInviting customers to participate along with the employees in the co-creation process is important to get a better understanding of the new points they experience today.

Creating new innovative legendary customer experiences requires that your hotel together with your employees understand each touchpoint in the customer journey.

As indicated the digital transformation process will require some investments. This is why it is important to collaborate with both employees and customers today.

Co-creation with employees and customers will provide your hotel with some unique insight for your hotel digital transformation process;

  • Use social channels to ask customers what digital tools that would improve their hotel experience
  • Run a mini boot camp with employees and customers
  • Collaborate with hospitality students on new innovative digital solutions
  • Connect and collaborate with other hotels

Where are your hotel in the digital transformation journey?

Digital transformation involves much more than simply digitizing your hotel’s assets – it also means utilizing the best tech tools to revolutionize your workforce and your business.

However, digital transformation is a process, and it’s not something that has to be done all at once to start seeing the benefits. You have to train your team properly to put them in a position to provide quick legendary digital service.

Thinking outside the box and challenging processes could very quickly improve the productivity of your employees, enable customers to gain access to new high-value data more quickly, and manage the digital transformation more efficiently.

You might have already started your hotel’s digital transformation journey, maybe without even knowing it.

The process can be broken down into three key stages, some of which you may recognize as already occurring within your hotel:


Start transitioning all of your hotel’s assets from analog to digital – think letters and memos into an email, printed catalogs into downloadable PDFs, or paper forms and manuals now available in an accessible digital format, or perhaps shared areas.


This enables digital communication of several processes, for example providing your hotel employees with iPads so that they have access to relevant information or can communicate fast with someone that can assist while they assist guests.

And this also enables digital automation allowing your hotel to communicate with customers seeking relevant information about your hotel.

Digital transformation

This represents a dramatic change in culture, activities, processes, and competencies.

Hotels that initiate a digital transformation will be using a mix of technologies and have digitalized workflows across all areas of their business.

Brands that started early with their digital transformation processes experience several benefits of digital transformation, such as lower costs, improved productivity, and more engaged customers and staff.


Define your hotels digital transformationDefining your hotel’s digital transformation is a process you do together with your employees and customers.

We going to look at this process in context with some important digital transformation trends.

A new digital-ready culture

Hotels today are under pressure to provide digital solutions that support new employee and customer needs.

One of the most predominant requirements today is hotels can quickly at scale meet new labor and customer demands and create a new revenue stream.

A digital-ready culture is a shared and mutually reinforcing set of values and practices that enable high performance in the service of innovation and execution in a digitally-enabled hotel environment.

Hotels are now required to act fast in real time. If you rely on quarterly data you are already months behind!

Consumers today want hotels to work with them, not just for them.

Digital innovation

Many hotels are trying to create solutions that provide new unique digital customer experiences.

Through a digital transformation, we shift the focus towards implementing new solutions that empower employees and help the hotels self-serve and provide alternative solutions faster.

Today hotels have to focus on building relationships and make friends first. Start engaging with a community that has the right insight, and share information broadly.

Hotels have become a lot more than just heads on beds.

Digital agility

Digital agility describes the ease where a hotel rapidly enables, update, change, or adapt the digital transformation processes.

As a result of the pandemic hotels now has to be more flexible and provide alternative solutions on the go.

Digital agility provides hotels with the power to rapidly develop, test, and launch new cost-effective processes.

This provides employees with digital tools that allow them to communicate internally and externally. These tools need to be easy to access, understand and use.

Hotels will have empowered their employees to make quick decisions to provide legendary customer service or customer service recovery.

Digital automation

We already know labor is a challenge for many hotels today as a result of the pandemic. I will add other factors also play in, but we leave that out for this digital transformation playbook.

Digital automation is a great solution for operational efficiency and improves the overall digital transformation process.

Digital security

With more digital access points security becomes extremely important.

This is a challenging element for many hotels that feels the pressure of speedy digital transformation processes.

And here we have to create practices that set the hotel industry apart. Consumers today will assume that your hotel’s network is secure.

Here are some basic requirements for your hotel’s files and devices;

  • Update your software
  • Backup your files
  • Require passwords
  • Encrypt devices with sensitive information
  • Require multifactor authentication to access sensitive information
  • Secure your router
  • Make sure your hotel’s routers offer WPA2 or WPA3 encryption
  • Create a culture of security by implementing a regular schedule of employee training
  • Have a plan for saving data and notifying employees and customers if your hotel experience a breach
  • Ensure GDPR compliance

Digital microservices

Micro-service technology has exploded in recent years to respond to the growing demand in faster delivery time, reduce cost and improve quality.

Digital transformation refers to a new, all-digital way of doing business and making decisions.

Microservices pattern enables scalability, speed, efficiency, and agility. As a result of this microservices have become one of the enablers in the digital transformation journey.

And it also addresses the hotel’s needs for operational flexibility, functional simplicity, and continuous change that define today’s digital economy.

Microservices just digital transformation has been around for a while, but they have riced in demand with the pandemic.

Brands like Nike use microservices in their apps to deliver legendary customer experiences.

Digital data insight

Remember your hotel now has to provide data in real time! To keep up with this unique challenge hotels have to look for faster ways to unlock data and gain insight.

Digital data insight is what will separate your hotels from your competitors today. A hotel’s ability to unlock, analyze, and act on data will be the foundation for new growth.

Digital data analytics

Hotels will have to invest in data analytics to help transform both the employee and customer experience.

You have to analyze digital data from the hotel website, apps, and microservices. Through digital data analytics, your hotel will obtain an insight into the areas where they need improvement.

Digital reputation

Reputation management is well known for most hotels.

With digital transformation, this is going to become even more important. Hotels will start to implement relevant high tech in every aspect of the day-to-day operations.

Today consumer’s wants and needs change at a very fast pace and with new tech solutions hotels are better prepared for new legendary service options.

Digital flexibility

Part of a new agile culture is to create a more flexible environment for both employees and customers.

Hotels have to invest in digital tools that allow a new unique type of flexibility. And with this kind of flexibility, it will become easier to create relevant and effective alternative solutions.

Creating a flexible workplace means making an effort to accommodate the specific needs of each employee.


Digital Collaboration is the new foundation for growthAs mentioned earlier digital transformation is nothing new. It has contained elements of digital products and services that have been able to drive business and revenue, increased efficiency, and also lowered costs.

Through value innovation and a growth mindset, we now implement more effective digital transformation strategies that will amplify these effects.

The dramatic change as a result of the COVID-19 is the demand for digital collaboration.

By itself, digital collaboration is a fast-growing trend. Though this is a trend hotels need to understand in context with the previously mentioned trends.

Powerful tools and applications allow hotels to focus on more unified data that enables them to engage seamlessly and anywhere with employees, potential candidates, consumers, other hotels in the area, and relevant networks.

One of the core principles of the digital transformation process is to build a unique digital tribe together with your employees that reach large networks.


Digital Content BoomMany hotels are struggling with digital content. Digital content is just a new way to embrace the stories that bring life to your hotel.

Consumers and potential labor candidates have all gone digital today. If your hotel is experiencing a content crisis it is because you are behind on the digital transformation process.

The Omnichannel approach

Hotels need to start to integrate all physical channels and digital channels. And this way provides highly relevant content seamless and effortless, high-quality employee and consumer experiences.

Content creation

Content creation is a process. This process is outlined in the digital transformation plan.

The next step is to make your hotel has a dedicated collaboration process in place. And then you curate content with help of a digital transformation huddle.

Content helps you attract, engage, and delight prospects and customers, bring new visitors to your site, and ultimately, generate revenue for your hotel.


Provide your hotel team members with tools and tech that help with effective internal and external communication.

Communication tools will help your hotel team stay informed and on top of new content demands.


Personalization is all about providing the right content at the right time. You have to be flexible and able to provide alternative solutions on the go.

This is one of the most challenging parts of content creation for many hotels. Personalization today needs to happen in real time. You can no longer base it on data from your last quarterly report.

Ownership and accountability

The purpose of the digital transformation huddle is to focus on what is right now and respond to what is important now. And the digital transformation huddle will help employees to take ownership of the task ahead, and then feel accountable in a positive manner.

Your hotel will have now have an effective way to publish and measure the effects of your unique stories.


The digital transformation playbook will help hotels understand the WHY of the formula:

Digital Transformation = Digital Tribe + Collective Digital Experience

I assume most hotels have a good understanding of WHAT they are doing. With the digital transformation playbook and the digital transformation plan, we put this in a new digital perspective.

The digital transformation huddle will guide you on HOW to put this to life. If want to learn more let me know.

Ready to take your digital transformation plan to a new level?

Hire a digital transformation coach for a new and bright future!

Contact Are Morch – Digital Transformation Coach today!

Related article: Why Digital Transformation is Important for The Hotel Employee and Customer Experience Today

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About Are Morch

Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Digital Transformation Coach helping hotels create unique and unexpected experiences by freeing up resources to focus on new ideas through value innovation and a growth mindset.

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