From: Mark Summers, Head of technology sales for housing, JMC IT
Sir – April has been an important month for the housing sector with the completed merger of Harvest and Arena to form Your Housing, now one of the biggest housing groups in the UK.
From working on solutions to enable the Your Housing merger as well as with housing providers at the other end of the scale, it is becoming apparent to us that there is a common desire to compete through the delivery of ‘anytime, anywhere, any place’ services to tenants and the drive to do this through technology.
It’s great to see the sector understand technology’s capabilities to differentiate a housing provider and drive community initiatives. In the past, we’ve seen housing providers spend 30 per cent of their time and effort on delivery and 70 per cent on utility. This balance needs to shift for a housing provider to realise its full potential and give its IT team a fighting chance of delivering value to tenants.
We will increasingly see housing providers coming to IT partners wanting to redress the focus so that all of their assets and the entire IT function are aligned on the provision of service to end-users. We are noticing a real momentum for change, where housing groups want IT to let them work on a client-led basis, as, at the end of the day, housing associations are consumer-facing organisations.