This issue marks the end of our fifth year of publishing Housing Technology. In that time, IT systems and services have really moved up the agenda for almost every housing provider and become a strategic item on most boardroom agendas. Over the same period, we have seen mobile working, virtualisation, GIS and mapping, telecare and multi-channel delivery, to name but a few, become mainstream areas.
At the same time, IT departments are under greater scrutiny to deliver (and prove that they deliver) value for money, with internal and cross-organisation benchmarking of IT services and costs becoming more common; we will be covering this in the next issue.
The next five years should be very exciting as many housing providers eclipse private-sector companies in their innovative use of IT. We also expect to see a period of IT consolidation, in part due to static or reduced budgets, as housing providers seek to cut out duplication of information between systems and consolidate some of their ‘islands of information’ resulting from ad-hoc standalone solutions. The end goal should be the coveted ‘single version of the truth’, first-time fix for tenant enquiries and seamless straight-through processing from front- to back-office.