With the expansion of technology and its ability to improve the operational structure of a company, it is obvious that businesses will look towards upgrading their existing infrastructure and hardware. However it is isn’t always as easy as that; with pressures regarding budgets and internal restraints, sectors such as Housing face many challenges in upgrading their technology. But how can the Housing sector overcome these challenges?
One of the primary concerns of Housing Associations is the need to reduce operational costs without compromising the service level provided to tenants. It sounds counterintuitive to be able to cut costs whilst providing a higher level of service, but it is possible. With the Capex/Opex benefits of Cloud computing, businesses can actually save money whilst improving their infrastructure and updating internal processes.
Moving across to a Cloud based solution can allow Housing Associations to become much more flexible; it can enable them to provide better customer service due to the secure and resilient nature of a Cloud solution, and allow them to integrate back end IT solutions more efficiently.
Another area in which Housing Associations look to decrease costs is through the reduction of transactional costs – for example currently the cost per call in call centers is £6. Through moving to a Cloud solution Housing Associations can look to implement a more collaborative environment with the use of
Unified Communications and thus decrease expensive call costs.
The July 2015 budget means that for the foreseeable future Housing Associations will be under pressure to reduce costs, whilst improving business efficiencies – and whilst this seems like impossibility in its very nature, there are a number of options that can be chosen to enable just that.
For many the primary issue when it comes to looking to improve technology is IT contracts with existing suppliers. Traditional service providers for the Housing sector may provide poor service and take business for granted – therefore they do not offer businesses within the sector the support that they need to in turn provide their tenants with better service.
Housing Associations also often receive multiple services from multiple providers, therefore opening themselves up to integration and compatibility issues between applications and systems. Moving operations across to just one company is the obvious route to making this less of an issue – improving system processes and the overall performance of systems and infrastructure.
A company, like Exponential-e, that has proven experience within the Housing sector, a 24x7x365 service desk and a vast array of solutions would be the ideal choice for Housing Associations – enabling them to access support at any time, have just one SLA and one provider to contact for all services.
Whilst there is an ongoing Government initiative to provide Digital Inclusion across Britain by 2020, the Housing sector in particular is looking to implement this across their businesses and for all their tenants. In order to provide digital access for all its tenants they need to ensure that they have a reliable network and connection, something resilient and easy to scale up/down as necessary.
Not only will this enable tenants to do more online, but it will also mean that Housing Associations can benefit by having more residents signed-up to access online services. In turn this will drive costs down for the association and have a more collaborative environment from which to manage their business and tenants.
Whilst there are, naturally, obstacles to overcome in order for Housing Associations to really tackle an improvement of their technology and infrastructure; the introduction of solutions such as Cloud and UC mean that there are ways in which they can provide the service that they need to, receive the support and services they require, whilst ensuring that they meet budget restraints.
So, whilst driving costs down whilst improving technology may seem impossible – by exploiting technology to deliver efficient and secure solutions, Housing Associations can actually deliver better service for less.