No one can have missed the importance of the ubiquity of mobile services for front-line repairs and maintenance staff, and their integration with back-office systems. But as a spokesman for Xmbrace said in the previous edition of Housing Technology, “Over the past year, mobile working has become the norm.” So what’s next?
For many mid- to large-sized housing associations, individual applications areas, such as mobile services, housing management and finance, have been successfully implemented so we expect the next focus to be on what can be termed ‘straight-through processing’. This is the concept that not only do all of the disparate technology systems integrate with one another, but more importantly, that an initial tenant enquiry or work request can pass seamlessly to all of the relevant parts of a housing association (and its contractors) without the need for re-keying data or manual intervention. Not only does this reduce costs and improve the accuracy of the data, it also dramatically improves the quality and speed of service for tenants. Most other industry sectors have their own version of straight-through processing; there’s no reason for social housing to be an exception.