Twenty years ago while publishing directories of IT events just as PCs were becoming ubiquitous in every business, I posited the idea that for all the myriad courses covering IT productivity, time management, how to use the latest breed of desktop and business applications and so on, most companies would be better served if they sent all staff on typing courses. Glib? Perhaps, but at the time, most people had only basic typing skills.
Housing Technology believes that a similar situation exists today, but in a different context. Housing providers’ ICT departments, for the most part, have a very good idea of the latest technologies and what they could do for their business operations, internally or externally. To a lesser extent, this is also probably true of most line-of-business roles, such as asset management or maintenance and repairs.
However, housing providers’ boards of directors, investors and other senior stakeholders including the regulators often have a weaker grasp on how the latest technology trends, such as social media, mobile, big data analytics and cloud computing (see Editor’s Notes in the July issue), could transform their operations beyond their wildest dreams.
We don’t think this is down to a lack of interest on the part of senior management; they simply have many competing demands for their attention. Housing Technology therefore suggests that housing providers’ ICT teams should set up internal programmes to showcase the very latest innovations (from the housing sector and beyond) to their senior management, not necessarily from the perspective of asking them to sign off budget for the latest ‘whizz bang’ but simply to illuminate the potential of IT beyond the narrow spotlight of their existing housing-specific infrastructures.