A Model Architecture

Standardization of business and IT processes is increasing. Many corporations are building , and a number of industries have formed standards for sharing data. For example, banks use . The grocery industry uses the Uniform Communication Standard for communication among food manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Oil companies have standards that facilitate the purchase, shipment and trading of gas and oil.

The hotel industry is the first to be applying enterprise architecture concepts across an entire industry. When completed, the industry architecture (IA) will describe nearly all the business processes, applications, data and technology required to operate a hotel or resort. Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), a global consortium of the industry's major stakeholders, is leading the effort.

The IA isn't envisioned as merely an agreement among IT staffers at large chains. It's an industrywide effort that must meet the needs of multiple stakeholders such as these:

Hotel chains. Large chains own many hotel brands. For example, Marriott includes Ritz-Carlton , Residence Inn and Fairfield Inn. The consistent business practices specified by the IA will help individual hotels meet various requirements established by their parent brands.

Ownership companies. These provide capital to buy, operate and refurbish hotel properties. They often own hotels in multiple chains. The IA will provide consistent operational data and financial reporting across brands and chains.

Management companies. These manage the hotels' day-to-day operations. The IA will help them comply with brand standards regarding all aspects of daily hotel functions, such as registration, checkout, cleaning and maintenance.