From Jacqui Stoggall, Director of Consultancy, Sovereign Business Information Group.
Sir – The ICT market in housing shows no sign of slowing as business transformation programmes fuel the procurement of new software, driven not only by service delivery objectives but also by the need to help the business deliver ever-increasing levels of efficiency and effectiveness.
New software suppliers are entering the market, resulting in more choice and the ability to manage processes differently. In particular, we have seen an increase in requests for consultancy support for ERP, CRM and EDM procurements. For example, we are working with Magna Housing Group for an implementation review and Genesis Housing Association to provide project governance support for system implementation projects.
While housing providers need to invest in ICT in order to put tenants and communities at the heart of their business, they want to ensure it delivers not just a quick fix but also supports long-term goals. Organisations are continuing to ask for more from technology while tightly managing spend. When considering suitable solutions, typical questions are being asked regarding suitability and affordability:
Do we need this type of system? If so, does it need to be one developed for the sector or is there a generic solution which we can adapt cost-effectively to specifically suit our organisation?
Should we look at a solution that sits at the front end to manage and feed into our core line-of-business systems?
It’s great to see innovative and technologically-advanced software coming to the housing sector; IT needs to evolve continuously so that it fully supports housing organisations as they transform and reshape their business offerings.