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While next-generation innovations for the hospitality sector focus on enhanced lobby and concierge services, many hoteliers are actually allotting sizeable portions of their IT budgets in guest room technologies.

Hospitality Technology recently published its 2013 Lodging Technology Study, which reveals which technology projects will be top priorities for hoteliers in 2013.  20 percent of hoteliers’ overall IT budgets will be in guest room technology, focusing first on Wi-Fi access and then bandwidth.

After guest room technology, the next largest investment, which may come as a surprise, is upgrading door locks.  Though, thanks to a recent spate of room break-ins across the U.S., hospitality providers are shifting their focus towards security.

This is obviously a serious issue that must be addressed immediately. While the threat is limited to one manufacturer’s locking technology, it still could impact as many as 4 million hotel rooms.

According to the Hospitality Technology survey, which was conducted at about the same time that the news broke about the potential lock flaw, more than one-third of hoteliers (35 percent overall) are planning to upgrade their hotel locks.

In many ways, the stories about major security breaches and guest room theft cause many hoteliers to re-think their IT budgets. For hospitality providers, offering the best services possible is a top priority, which cannot be achieved if the average hacker can use a digital tool to trigger the opening mechanism of a door locks.

Unfortunately, the hackers will continue to get smarter and keeping up with them will always be a challenge.  Security should always be a major priority, but in an ideal world, these IT budgets would be evenly spread to innovations that drive guests to a property in the first place.