You may think that this is a strange question, a CTO doesn’t need to care about corporate travel. That is the responsibility of the travel manager, procurement and even the CEO. What if we told you that the CTO does need to care, in fact it is imperative that he is part of the buying process, you would be asking us why.
Who holds the data?
In today’s digital world there is so much more to travel than just looking on a website and booking a flight or hotel that will meet the needs of the employee and comply with your companies travel policy. Having a travel platform in your business will fully integrate how it is managed and booked, a single source of entry for all your company travel needs.
You are most likely still wondering what this has to do with a CTO and why they should carry on reading, but why wouldn’t a CTO want to be involved, we are implementing an IT system after all. Like any other IT system, a travel programme will use data, user profiles, hold information on spending patterns and payment information. How do you know that this data is secure? What functions does the programme have to safe guard users and your company?
When the system is being implemented, how easy is it to integrate data from other areas of the business into this new solution, will it provide the much-required single source of data? If you are managing all this data what do you want to get from it, does the system allow reporting and analysis of spend? With data being such an important area of focus for any business, this may fall to the Chief Security Office, but we would still recommend that the CTO be involved.
But what does it look like?
With most people living off their mobile devices, user experience is another area that should be explored. Does the travel programme have apps? How good are they, will they work across a multitude of devices and are they easy to use? Do the platforms integrate with current systems and how will it look once this integration is completed? These are questions taken for granted by the end user but should be one of the first asked by the CTO. You do not want to take months implementing a travel programme only for the product not to have the desired impact due to customer usability. Just like having a comfortable, productive work space, when something looks good on a screen and is easy to use take up of the programme will increase.
Have we persuaded you?
While a CTOs role can vary depending on the size of the business they are in, one thing will always be the same, understanding the IT products being used by the company. It shouldn’t matter if it is ‘Office’ based product or travel management solution, all should be treated the same way. Is it the right fit for the business, what support will be needed, can it be upscaled, how is data managed and does it meet user experience? All these questions fall into the CTOs remit and therefore we believe that a CTO should care about a corporate travel programme.
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