When we published the UK social housing sector’s first report on the internet of things (IoT) in 2017, IoT was still in its infancy in our sector.
In our 2017 survey, the majority of housing providers reported to us that IoT was unimportant to their future plans, had no IoT strategies and that the technology was too new and/or unproven, with those views generally strongest among housing providers with the largest property portfolios.
Housing providers also told us in 2017 that there was little board-level understanding of IoT, widespread concerns about security, privacy and liability, only minority involvement of tenants in IoT projects, and most had no plans for any IoT deployments within the next two years (at the time).
Five years later, and how things have changed. As our Housing Technology Guide to IoT Deployment in Housing 2022 shows, our sector’s attitude to the deployment of IoT devices in its tenants’ homes and subsequent data collection, analysis and reporting is overwhelmingly positive, and our research suggests strong growth in the widespread installation of IoT devices (for example, many types of IoT device are expected to see increases of 300-600 per cent within the next two years).
Aside from IoT now being a proven technology, as evidenced (for example) by the widespread consumer-level adoption of ‘smart’ home devices, Housing Technology’s view is that housing providers have now recognised that the role of IoT devices isn’t as isolated, standalone ‘endpoints’ in tenants’ homes, but almost the reverse. IoT and smart-home devices are now seen as vital data collection tools that provide the real-time fuel to power housing providers’ short- and long-term decisions around their properties, assets and tenants.