The most common obstacle to housing associations and RSLs achieving efficient in-house processes and delivering joined-up services to their tenants and residents is the plethora of different systems used across the various parts of their organisations. Many of the projects we cover in Housing Technology are being carried out to either address this problem directly or deal with it as a substantial component of a business application- or department-specific project.
The usual culprit is the humble spreadsheet. They are created in an ad-hoc, tactical manner by individuals or teams to measure or report on a particular area, with very rarely any common framework between teams on how the spreadsheets should be structured, updated or linked. Everyone has their own way of creating and managing spreadsheets which means it’s incredibly time-consuming (if not impossible) to get the spreadsheets to support a shared, organisation-wide information strategy.
Spreadsheets quite simply lack the rigour of business-specific applications, whether it’s adding new data, manipulating existing data or exporting/integrating data with other systems and applications. Take a close look at how spreadsheets are being used in your organisation and consider how their use could be curtailed, consolidated or at least monitored.