- Marshall Lancaster, former global CIO and SVP at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, has been appointed CIO of the professional services division responsible for the technology portfolio at Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, P&O Cruises Australia and Carnival Australia.
- At Hyatt, Lancaster oversaw the transformation of the company's technology infrastructure. In his new role, Lancaster will be tasked with leveraging his industry-specific expertise to keep the IT backbone of every ship up and running.
- The new CIO will put the IT organization "on course for a successful and sustainable future of delivering the highest quality IT services to our stakeholders," said Tony Kaufman, EVP, professional services, general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer, in the announcement.
In the hospitality industry, the challenge of the technology organization is enhancing customer experience of a consumer base that is increasingly digitally-driven.
For hotel chains like Hilton, technology steps in to ensure consistency in guest experience throughout their stays. Others, like timeshare brand Wyndham Destinations, leverage customer relationship management software to update their sales process.
The same obstacles apply to cruise lines, with the added challenge of latency and keeping systems running in transit at the edge.
One of the challenges of running the technology behind Princess Cruises alone is its scope. The company's 18 cruise ships host two million guests each year to 380 destinations.
The technology stack at Princess Cruises is aimed at guest experience. On select cruises passengers receive a wearable device called the "ocean medallion," which serves as a smart navigation platform and mobile identification.
The global scope thickens with the other lines the CIO will be responsible for. At the suite of brands, Lancaster's expected to bring the kind of strategies he oversaw at Hyatt: transforming the company's tech infrastructure and integrate business applications.
In the context of increasing digital transformation, IT leaders are called to find the right balance between innovating and keeping systems running, as the shift in consumer interest reshapes how products are delivered.