How can Housing Associations embrace Digital Transformation?
Published on September 9, 2022
For us that work in, and engage with Digital Transformation, its common knowledge that Digital Transformation has been at the top of the list for the Public Sector and Housing Associations for quite some time.
Inside Housing recently conducted an interesting survey. The findings stated that 32% of respondents said Digital Transformation was considered a high priority and 65% of leaders believed that Digital Transformation was vital to their organisation and its development.
This blog will debate how Housing Associations should use Digital Transformation technology, such as DocuWare to implement improvements within vital processes, helping them take stress away from staff, management and achieve their strategic objectives.
Streamlining vital operational processes
There are really no limits when it comes to streamlining processes with Digital Transformation. Sure, these can be related to tenant engagement or customer service but can also very easily relate to back office processes, such as Finance Accounts Payable where technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning really come into their own.
Many Housing Associations would be the first to admit that some of their processes are historic and don’t really fit into today’s digital world. Investing in Digital Transformation technology, such as DocuWare could really save the workforce time, save the organisation money and increase staff morale as part of the process.
A common process for discussion that could easily utilise DocuWare to streamline, and in some cases automate the process would be in relation to compliance of certificates, such as Gas Safety. With the risk of potential fines when not compliant, certificate compliance can cause serious headaches for Housing Associations. Having the correct, up to date paperwork for each property, in an easily accessible format is a difficult task to manage.
Feel free to view the short video below to see how managing certificate compliance could quite quickly and easily go through a Digital Transformation process.
Easy to use and secure file sharing and transfer platforms could also benefit Housing Associations by securing the transfer of sensitive data and improving the engagement with tenants.
Although investing in Digital Transformation technologies can at first seem daunting and expensive there is always an opportunity to start small and the positive effect long term can be incalculable.
It’s all about people!
How can you help tenant engagement?
I think everyone understands that looking after tenants and having open two-way communication channels is very important. It provides tenants with a voice enabling them to share ideas around improvements and voice any concerns quickly and easily.
Digital Transformation in Housing Associations has the potential to increase this collaboration. Investing in digital platforms to aid communication will help associations create communities that transcend place.
More organisations are starting to utilise social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp providing opportunities for greater access and increased tenant engagement.
At AMS we believe that DocuWare, Document Management also has a role to play in opening up communication channels with tenants. Inbuilt functionality, such as mobile friendly web-forms will allow tenants to easily voice their concerns, send pictures and videos, which will be instantly received by the Housing Association, instigating an automatic creation of a workflow task.
Out with the old and in with the new
In a sector where there has historically been a number of mergers between organisations, it’s fair to say that legacy infrastructure is quite prominent in the sector and is something that is most likely niggling at the leadership teams.
Using new Digital Transformation technologies will allow IT to eradicate silos that aren’t integrated or efficient.
With a digital first mindset, there is an opportunity for an IT infrastructure overhaul ensuring that Digital Transformation in Housing Associations is ready and open to a modern, post pandemic and hybrid workforce. This mindset will allow them to implement solutions, which ensure processes continue when staff are out of the office.
How to reach Digital Transformation goals
Although there is a large appetite for Digital Transformation in Housing Associations and the public sector generally it could appear to be a long winded and arduous task. Strongly embedded historic processes and restraints on budgets could mean that organisations procrastinate on their Digital Transformation goals.
However, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom! At AMS, there is no doubt in our mind that Digital Transformation is the best vehicle to propel Housing Associations into the future.
By using systems, such as DocuWare to improve tenant engagement and relationships, and automate processes, such as Accounts Payable and HR on-boarding, Housing Associations can really take that small but vital step towards their strategic goals.