Housing Plus has been working with Rainmaker Solutions, Littlefish and Incline-IT to transform its delivery of IT services.
The delivery of IT change and operational performance to meet business objectives has been a challenge for Housing Plus throughout our post-merger integration and wider business transformation projects. This hasn’t been due to the lack of an IT strategy, a lack of IT alignment to business objectives or a lack of overall programme and project governance. Instead, challenges were fundamental, arising out of the overall rate of change, ever-growing business expectations of IT and increasing staff expectations to work in an agile way.
We began by undertaking a review, with the assistance of Rainmaker Solutions, to better understand the demands on IT and the issues in IT service and change delivery. This resulted in the definition of key service areas that could be delivered as distinct components, either through our internal IT team or through external ‘subject matter expert’ service providers. The aim of these service components was to enable us to retain our IT strategy, governance and performance management, irrespective of service delivery.
Following the procurement process, four key service components were awarded to two main suppliers; service desk and end-user compute were awarded to Littlefish, and hosting and network management awarded to Incline-IT.
With these components being delivered externally, we’ve retained our strategy and governance management as intended, as well as the management of application transformation and support. That objective would then be core to a review of our future application needs following a second merger completed in October 2019.
Littlefish is providing high levels of expertise to our service desk provision which is enabling 24/7 support, high-quality help for remote workers and the transformation of services starting with device management and deployment to enhance our agile and mobile working capabilities.
Incline-IT is providing quality management for our legacy hosting and network setups, while planning and then deploying a cloud-first approach to hosting and network management; this will result in Amazon Web Services hosting and SDWAN deployment.
What has been achieved relatively quickly by clearly defining our service categories, engaging with the market and selecting specialist suppliers is a complement to all parties involved.
There will be many challenges ahead as we continue to develop and extend our cloud-first approach to technology delivery, but the short-term benefits regarding the quality of IT services and assurance of operational availability will make our future plans for business and technology change more achievable and in shorter timescales.
Andrew Dale is the assistant director of IT at Housing Plus Group.