There is one relatively simple but nevertheless essential ingredient missing from most digital transformation programmes. Without it they will fail or at the very least fall far short of their goals. Leadership and culture change are, of course, essential to success but these aren’t enough without this missing ingredient.
This ingredient, which is overlooked far too often, is knowledge and information management (KIM) and it sits at the very heart of successful digital transformations. Too many housing providers find themselves ‘data rich but insight poor’.
Without access to accurate, data-led insights, how can you properly understand your true starting point or how you’re progressing? Almost all strategic objectives are reliant on swift access to accurate information, and this is particularly the case for digital initiatives such as online services, customer management, automation and artificial intelligence. KIM is fundamental to their success.
The business case for putting KIM at the heart of your digital transformation strategy is compelling; here are some examples:
- Data quality and security is now the single highest priority on many housing providers’ risk registers.
- Approximately 80 per cent of governance downgrades are related to poor KIM.
- The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has stated that, “data quality is the cornerstone on which all compliance is based”.
- The RSH has also a stated that housing providers require “error detection software” to safeguard compliance and reduce risk.
- The Housing Ombudsman has been damning of our sector’s data quality and has recently stated that KIM is the closest thing our sector has to a silver bullet.
- Increased investment in business intelligence was recently cited as the single highest priority among local government leaders.
- Data quality is an essential component in the achievement of most housing providers’ strategic objectives.
- Compliance with the Charter for Social Housing and the NHF Code of Governance can only be achieved with a focus on KIM.
- With some compliance failures now becoming criminal, poor KIM in certain circumstances can ruin the careers and lives of housing executives, not to mention the lives of tenants.
- A principle cause of executive stress is a lack of confidence in the information that they base strategic decisions, governance, risk and compliance on.
Fortunately, all of these challenges have proven, referenceable solutions which allow housing providers to demonstrate that they have KIM under control. Not only will they enable and empower digital transformation programmes, but they will underpin organisational security and be the catalyst for improving the lives of customers and staff.
If you ever get out of bed in the morning wondering what your job is all about, this should be central to it.
Colin Sales is the CEO of 3C Consultants.