One very interesting session I attended at Fusion 2018 was a discussion/ debate if you will on what will be the biggest game-changer for managed travel over the next 5 years. The options were:
1) The virtual payment mechanism for travel bookings to collect all cost centre data at time of booking and to create improved visibility for the employer.
2) Incentised behaviour to encourage staff to book travel less than their entitlement to share the savings with their employer.
3) Artificial Intelligence to automatically book flights and hotels for an individual based on their historic patterns and travel requests.
4) Blockchain Technology to enable secure peer to peer transactions which will impact the way OBT and TMC charge their clients in the future.
5) Internet Gatekeepers to ensure that data protection of organisations is paramount and that breaches of confidential organisational data is not compromised.
What do you think will be the biggest game changer from those listed above (1 to 5) - or will there be a No. 6 that is yet to be thought of?
My vote is No. 3 - Artificial intelligence.
Most of the companies that I am working for seem to be adopting no. 6. In my view, the game changer is going to be a company's inherent objective of maximising profit. Most clients seem to be cutting travel budgets and technology enablers are being encouraged to cut down on travel. A lot of them are also investing in infrastructure that allows GLOBAL meetings i.e. standardised meeting rooms set up across the globe that make you feel as if everyone is in the same room. Cisco seems to be the preferred choice.
So my choice is 6. Technology enablers to eliminate the need for travel