By Harsha Subasinghe, founder of Codegen
The most successful travel businesses of the future will be those that are not afraid to try new things and push the envelope when it comes to utilising the latest technologies that can add value to their business.
We work with a number of high profile clients that have realised that if they don’t embrace innovation in how they allow travellers to book their products and services, they will fall behind.
The biggest challenge is sometimes convincing clients to take a risk and try something new. Of course, technology changes at such a pace that it can be daunting for businesses, but by trusting and working in true partnership with your technology provider “change” does not have to be a dirty word.
Here at CodeGen we invest heavily in research and development and our entrepreneurial team are developing new ways for technology to deliver solutions to everyday problems in the travel space, and some other fun projects too.
There are great steps being made in the field of augmented and virtual reality which are fascinating. We’ve all been gripped by products such as Oculus Rift and Google’s SpotMini but these developments are not just to be looked at in awe from a distance or reserved for the computer games industry and robots of the future.
Plenty can be harnessed in the travel industry to help enhance travellers’ experiences and enable businesses to upsell throughout the customer journey and we need to ensure we are always thinking in this way – how can these technological advancements work for our business objectives?
The evidence is there to be seen with the recent surge in mobile development. Businesses that haven’t kept up are missing out on an ever-growing segment of the market utilising mobile shopping.
But, equally as important is the increased significance that the all-powerful Google has added mobile optimisation within its SEO ranking.
This clearly demonstrates that we’re not being dramatic when we say ‘innovate or die’; in addition to losing customers who want a seamless mobile experience, brands which fail to embrace consumer trends are falling down the search pages and won’t even get in front of potential customers.
People’s booking behaviour is changing all the time and, whether consciously or not, they expect to be able to use the latest in technology to enjoy a simple, seamless and satisfying booking process.
Tech not working in an intuitive, fast and easy way is definitely a bookings killer. So travel companies need a technology platform that can adapt to industry changes extremely fast and remain flexible in the future.
To be truly innovative, any business has to not be afraid to try new things and pioneer new ideas.
Personally we are currently enjoying developing Vega, the first electric supercar in Sri Lanka, to feed our passion for invention. The learnings from this, and new discoveries around machine learning, are being applied to our latest travel technology developments.
Whether it’s developing new electronics or travel software, we stand by our ethos: innovate or die.