I’ve had the privilege of witnessing at first-hand the incredible changes that have swept through the social housing sector during the past 15-20 years, as our company has grown to become the largest IT and business news and information service for this vital sector. I’d like to share my thoughts on the role of business automation in the transformation of social housing, focusing on its potential to improve the quality of business applications and ensure compliance.
Our sector, like most others, is undergoing dramatic digital transformation. To keep up with the pace of change, we need innovative tools to ensure housing providers can build, maintain and manage homes efficiently. Business automation platforms, like those offered by companies such as Leapwork, are at the forefront of this movement.
Housing Technology recently co-hosted an evening event at Quaglino’s in London that brought together a small number of senior IT and business heads from leading housing providers, with the focus on how business automation can accelerate digital transformation. We were joined by guest speakers Gareth Levingston from RHP Group and Richard Holland from Notting Hill Genesis as well as James Funge from Leapwork.
Automation platforms are game changing for housing providers. By enabling them to automate repetitive tasks, these platforms increase efficiency, reduce the risk of errors and ensure compliance with ever-changing regulations. This translates into faster, more streamlined processes for building and maintaining homes, ultimately benefiting those who need them most.
One of the key challenges for almost all housing providers is the integration of multiple software systems to manage their diverse and inter-connected business processes. Business automation platforms simplify this by offering seamless integration capabilities. This means that housing providers can easily connect their existing systems to these platforms, creating a unified environment which streamlines operations and reduces the need for manual interventions.
Furthermore, many business automation platforms are adopting a no-code approach, empowering non-technical staff to create, maintain and update automation processes. This democratisation of technology enables housing providers to tap into the skills and knowledge of their entire workforce, rather than relying solely on their IT specialists, thereby fostering a ‘can do’ culture of innovation and agility.
At our recent London event, Gareth Levingston of RHP and Richard Holland of Notting Hill Genesis shared their experiences of quality assurance (QA) and integration strategies around application architecture, with both of them highlighting the importance of robust QA processes to ensure the reliability and usability of software applications. Business automation platforms address this QA need by automating the testing process, allowing housing providers to quickly identify and resolve issues, ensuring the highest standards are maintained.
The full potential of business automation platforms can only be realised when housing providers integrate them into their daily operations. As RHP’s Levingston said, “Business automation is important to us because it gives us the ability to scale and find efficiencies in laborious areas, freeing up smart people to do more strategic things.
“We have started working with Leapwork and QA and we’ve already seen great successes, and expanding this approach into other areas, such as rents, repairs and customer contact as well as emerging technologies like AI, is an absolute must for us.”
George Grant is the CEO, publisher and co-founder of Housing Technology.