Fresh from being acquired by a US private equity company, Northgate is itself aiming to buy Anite’s public sector business, while the recent Capita/IBS deal was covered in the last edition of Housing Technology. Consolidation among technology suppliers to the social housing sector is likely to continue, but who’s next?
Our view is that the next targets will be the small, privately-owned technology suppliers of niche business-specific applications, in areas such as mobile workforce scheduling, geographic information, and reporting and KPIs. At the other end of the deal, the acquirers will be the much larger suppliers of integrated housing and asset management systems looking to extend their services at the same time as gaining a new customer base for their existing products.
Good news or bad news? It depends on whether having fewer technology suppliers to the sector reduces competition and choice, particularly the ability to select genuine ‘best of breed’ niche applications, or makes a ‘whole-company’ system easier to implement and integrate. Either way, if you are researching new products, make sure you find out as much as possible about the future business plans of your short-listed suppliers.