When I was asked to write this short article, I understood that the purpose was to provide a documented process that defines what we do now, and what the future would look like with technology. Interestingly, my next thought was “how can you reimagine something that people still don’t fully understand?”
Compliance is simply defined as one’s ability to act according to an order, a set of rules or a request. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really clear up the many aspects of what constitutes compliance in social housing, but it does give us the basis to understand a little more. When I meet senior housing professionals around the country to talk about specifications and best practice guidance, we always fall back on minimum levels because we believe that’s what we will be judged against; ultimately compliance, because of the reporting mechanisms in place today, is the minimum expected output.
With the introduction of technology over the years we can see that compliance, as we know it today, is failing to keep up with the world’s advances. This doesn’t apply to everyone and everything, but it does apply to data, process and compliance management in housing.
An important question at this point is why? Is it because we’re scared to try new things? Or is there more to it? Maybe there is a nervousness that if we adopt technology that can do more with less then we will be forced to spend more even though we are gradually given less. This is an apparent issue right across housing but if you approach technology and embrace it, ensuring the provider only provides the service and doesn’t control it, you can take small steps towards really positive improvements.
Looking at technology now, we can see the ability to trend the data we have to provide insights or knowledge concepts that predict or prompt actions around failing assets. The level of forensic analytics available means that the money you spend on systems that may not need upgrading can be parked, enabling your spending to be focused on what actually is failing.
The housing sector is awash with software companies selling their wares. The hardest thing for you is to find the solutions that have been built to help or fix a problem… and to avoid the ones trying to sell a problem that fits their solution.
Ryan Dempsey is the CEO of The Compliance Workbook.