Mike NovakDiscover how the hospitality industry has evolved through technology, according to the newest MES Advisory Board member.

IT veteran Mike Novak brings more than 20 years of experience as the newest MES Advisory Board member. He serves as the global vice president of information technology for Las Vegas-based Hakkasan Group, a hospitality company with multiple establishments across the globe.

Throughout his time in the hospitality space, Novak has witnessed the transformation of both the technology with which he works as well as digital marketing. We recently sat down with Novak to discuss these digital transformation trends and some of the challenges he runs into on a day-to-day basis.

How has IT impacted your industry up to this point and where do you see it going in the next few years?

It has impacted our industry through innovations in point-of-sale systems, payment systems and digital marketing. For example, systems are evolving to having your smart phone order and pay for all payment types. The ability to manage your orders, re-orders and payment from your device at the table is significant.

What challenges do you face in your role? If applicable, how would you like to see this resolved?

The challenges are keeping up with what makes sense in our venues for technology and how much technology can dilute the guest experience.

What goals are you setting for yourself and your team this year? How do you hope to achieve them?

I’m looking for my team to be more transparent in projects to increase communication and collaboration. Also, I’m looking to establish cross-training in specific areas and empower my staff to take specific tasks and responsibilities in order to have them grow.

What advice would you share with midmarket CIOs and other IT leaders? How can MES help solve their pain points?

One piece of advice I would like to share is empower your staff, create ownership and accountability and they will excel. Some challenges IT leaders face are that we are too far in the details to manage effectively. Make sure to meet with your staff, walk around where applicable, empower and support your teams.

Why did you get involved in MES?

I joined to see a bigger horizon of what’s happening in technology in different industries other than my own. My goal is to learn from others as well as contribute where I can.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

I am looking forward to the board events ahead. I am learning how everyone is contributing and hope to be a valuable member.