As we move into the tenth year of Housing Technology, it is interesting to note that while in the past if housing providers had a particular problem to solve, they would deploy a specific line-of-business application to address that problem.
Skip forward almost a decade, and we’re now seeing a plethora of housing providers taking a more ‘helicopter’ view of their IT estates with respect to how they support their organisation’s wider objectives, particularly around business transformation.
If you skip through the past few years of Housing Technology, it becomes very apparent that housing providers have already readily accepted that mobile working, dynamic scheduling, document management, virtualisation, CRM, portals and self-service (to name but a few specific areas) all work perfectly well. The recent change is around making them all work together to serve wider organisational objectives. Or to put it another way, it is now accepted that technology works; it’s now a question of making it all work together, than as a series of siloed, piecemeal applications.
This approach is best encapsulated in Sanctuary Housing’s SAP-based OneSanctuary implementation, with the software providing a common platform for almost all of its day-to-day activities. That’s not to say that ERP-type systems are necessarily now the only way forward (and certainly not for small- and medium-sized housing providers), yet OneSanctuary is a good example of a housing provider taking an holistic, long-term look at what it does, why it does it and then creating an integrated technology platform to support those objectives.