Chief Executives and Directors of public sector bodies are recognising more than ever that technology will play an integral role to ensure positive business conditions in what is currently a turbulent sector dictated by external factors and a chief executive’s expectation is understandably high.
One of the sectors being hard pushed to make changes is the Housing Sector. With the recent budget cuts in this sector, Welfare Reform and Universal Credit, followed by the lack of housing supply increasing costs and customer’s expectations, business heads are turning to technology as a strategic enabler to solving some of their biggest challenges.
The Housing Sector has to be more innovative in its approach when selecting technology to support the new challenges they face. Business heads want to ensure their investment can allow for staff to do more for less and are justifying spending through a Value for Money framework as social housing grants are being slashed year on year. Where budget cuts seem to be set for the next 5 years, business heads are putting more effort into ensuring the right technology platform is being selected.
As we enter an era of digital and IT consumerisation, employees, citizens and customers alike are expecting access and management of information quicker, across multiple technology devices.
With resources being stretched to support increasing demands in the 21st century, there are pressures of being proactive, ensuring bespoke services catered to individual needs are being delivered, the need to be impactful to both partners and customers alike.
The key focus areas that business heads are looking for providers to showcase include:
- The ability to demonstrate technology as an enabler to freeing up resources to provide cost effective value added services without having to compromise on service quality
- The ability to demonstrate the ability to provide value for money solutions that showcase how business’ can do more with less to achieve yearly cost savings.
- The ability for providers to provide solutions that are scalable, flexible, supports multiple platforms both internal and mobile and most importantly it can meet changing demands without worrying about the uncertainties of costs and the ability for providers to support these changing degrees’ of growth.
When providing IT solutions to housing associations, business heads are looking at how providers address specific IT challenges that the sector as a whole are trying to get to grips with:
- Data Quality – business heads need to be able to make sense of their data which will provide them with the intelligence they need to make smarter decisions on service provisions and delivery to their customers.
- System Integration – the sector as a whole suffers from a myriad of silo applications within their business that contributes to process inefficiencies. Business heads want to work with solution providers that can support integration to support internal automation and most importantly ensure one true view of data which impacts upon data quality.
- Digital Self- Service introduction– with Universal Credit and Welfare Reforms, business heads are looking to introduce self- service facilities to it’s customers. Providers need to demonstrate how their technology can empower customers to perform simple activities cheaper than the current way service is being delivered. Business heads recognise this is one major way efficiency savings can be achieved as it reduces the need for front-line resources.
A focus for all public sector bodies in the UK is to ensure people, processes and technology are lined up to deliver a more effective citizen-centred service and improve joined up working in society.
We’re in a time where radical citizen service improvements through better utilisation of digital technology need to be made. Providers need to adapt to help their customers meet their growing challenges.
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