From: Alistair McLeod, Director, Waterstons
Sir – It strikes me that many housing providers have a slightly misunderstood view of their strategic priorities which then permeate down and affect effective service delivery and the successful alignment of ICT. Housing providers primarily manage assets and are therefore operationally excellent, meaning they deliver high-quality, repeatable services at low cost. Of course, there is a social agenda, which requires a certain degree of customer intimacy, but the primary driver is operational excellence.
Once this view is accepted, you can pursue a strategy that enables information and processes to be owned across many functions and the selection of technology can be based on delivery against these requirements. I have come across many organisations in this sector that have functional boundaries which have been created through either misunderstood priorities or irrelevant internal policies.
This results in silos of processes and ultimately fragmented information systems, hampering effective service delivery and visibility of business performance. The only way a social agenda can be achieved is through high performance service delivery and relevant supporting technology.