From: Paul Tennant, CEO, Orbit Group
Sir – Most of us naturally think about technology in terms of new hardware or emerging software which can help to transform the way we work. And of course, as we have seen with the recent deployment of iPads to housing teams, new equipment and systems can drive a step change in efficiency, effectiveness and service.
But that’s only part of the story. In recent months we have begun to explore how less tangible concepts such as social media, connectivity and culture might be as important as the latest technological innovation in shaping our business transformation in the future.
We’ve encouraged our people to experiment with social media in engaging more directly with our customers and communities, and indeed with each other on an open source ‘Orbit Twitter’ feed on our intranet. Small steps, it’s true, but the start of an exciting journey which is more cultural than technological.
Ultimately, this type of approach could see us develop a culture where empowerment, co-production and connectivity replace hierarchy and traditional, formal relationships, both internally and externally. Our structures may become flatter and the barriers between staff and customers more permeable.
We are only at the start of the journey. And the destination towards becoming a truly ‘social business’ is not yet entirely clear. But we believe that tomorrow’s world will be as much about how you do business, as what technology you use to do business.