It has rather crept up on us, but with this 40th issue, Housing Technology has reached middle age, hopefully without any of the trappings of a mid-life crisis.
Looking back at the first few issues of Housing Technology, it’s very clear the extent to which IT implementations and technology usage have changed over the years. When we started in 2008, it is fair to say the social housing sector significantly lagged behind others in terms of how technology was used in day-to-day operations as well as how it was perceived by boards and other departments.
Back then, the trend was broadly for on-premise point solutions implemented reactively to solve operational bottlenecks, replace manual and paper-based processes and generally ‘keep the lights’. Of course, there are notable exceptions to this but most readers will recognise the general picture.
Fast forward six or seven years and look at how things have changed. While some of the new developments are simply to do with changes in the wider technology landscape, there is no doubt that housing providers’ IT teams have transformed themselves into proactive ‘business partners’ for the rest of the enterprise and have established the fundamental importance of IT to housing providers’ future business goals.
We are, arguably, seeing the second wave of technology in social housing. This is not just to do with the increasing ubiquity of cloud- and web-based services, but also the way in which housing providers are now ‘joining up the dots’ between their existing applications and platforms to streamline the information flows with their organisations to enable more straight-through processing.
Housing providers’ IT teams can now rightly congratulate themselves on how they have moved IT to the centre of the stage and are influencing all aspects of operations.
With that in mind, here’s to the next 40 issues of Housing Technology, and our sincere thanks to all of our readers, advertisers, event sponsors and speakers, and editorial contributors, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible.