Friday, 30 January 2015

Love, Sex, Market Intelligence

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @hotpixUK
or LinkedIn here

Have you grabbed a copy of the Housing Technology 2014/15 Market Intelligence survey yet?

If you are not aware of it, over 250 social housing providers have had their say about their IT infrastructure, application solutions and plans for the future. The steering committee includes the usual suspects, such as Circle, Affinity Sutton, Genesis and others. Obtain your copy at

In many ways, drivers this year in UK social housing seem to be very similar to last year, with Vfm and enhanced tenant communication, in the wake of impending welfare reform providing the emphasis for social housing IT plans. By now, a large rump of organisations have already woken up to the twin themes of dynamic scheduling and flexible mobile as key themes. Indeed, a conversation with providers of another solution in the sector, just last week mentioned how “They would like to become the Optitime DRS” of their niche market. A sensible way to plan indeed.

While a move away from the piecemeal ‘Third Party Best of Breed’ approach is evident, from clients I work with, organisations are finding that hard. Alternatively, they are re-visiting integration, in order to reduce the number of silo-ed spreadsheets used by individual teams. Try doing a quick search of your shares & network drives for ‘*.xls*’ if you dare. If the total number of spreadsheets is more than 10 times the number of application or HMS modules installed, I would say you have a problem.

Look out for anyone with a mug like this too!
Start with the team with the most spreadsheets. Quiet clue: Its most likely to be your assets or capital (Planned) works team.

Interestingly from the survey, more organisations than ever seem to be experiencing the planned business benefits from technology projects. Worryingly 27% of organisations report that they only seem to experience less than half the original planned benefits. Now, is that a problem with initial specification, communication, or are we still seeing some sharp practice and smoke/mirrors from sales staff? Detail breakdown of what deliverables are involved is not detailed, but I would bet a mix of these factors may be the cause.

Looking forward in the social housing IT crystal ball, is a tricky one. However, the survey does point us further in the direction of more channel shift (for me it’s more options and extending services 365.25/24/7), tenant self-service (apps, social media integration, more functional websites) and looking at shared IT services. This last one might be the more interesting and no doubt driven by further austerity cuts to local authority funding and may well point to some interesting mixtures of regional bedfellows. Watch this space or my twitter feed at @HotpixUK. You will hear it first here!

Related Post: So just how high does your team aim?


You can link with me on LinkedIn here - It would be great to connect !

The Shaman - LSIThe Shaman - LSI.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

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