Why UK housing associations are failing to use data as an asset
Greg Dean, Phoenix Sector Sales Manager for Charities & Housing Associations, takes a look at the findings of recent independent research* we commissioned alongside VMware among employees from housing associations across the UK
“UK housing associations provide a wealth of vital services to citizens; but as demand surges and issues within the system persist, it’s become clear that the current methods for managing data and supporting a more mobile workforce are no longer fit for purpose.
Organisations in this sector have had to contend with a range of challenges. From central funding freezes to benefit payment caps, ongoing welfare reform and social housing fraud, the need to offer better services to increasingly digital citizens is mounting. Crucial to the success of this is the effective storage and management of data.
Data is at the very heart of what organisations in this sector do, collecting an enormous amount of important information on property and people. Its widely recognised that better use of this information can power decisions in a range of areas from home design and investment to the allocation of care services, maintenance and repairs. Effective use of data is also set to become increasingly important as the sector embraces the Internet of Things (IoT) as a way to remotely monitor utilities and security.
We recently asked employees from housing associations in the UK what kind of job their organisation was doing when it came to storing, managing and using data and providing the right access for staff and suppliers on the move. Many were in desperate need of change:
- Three quarters (75 %) admitted they don’t think their organisation is capable of effectively using the information it stores
- A fifth believe current data storage and management capabilities will need a refresh within the next 12 months, 27 % in two years and a third in three years
- Aside from managing and storing data (43 % of housing associations), the top challenges are access to the right technology for staff and suppliers (47 %), flexible working (65 %) and data compliance and spending cuts (51 %)
- One in three are still struggling to manage tenant payments following the introduction of Universal Credit
- A worrying number don’t believe or know whether their organisation currently has the ability to manage and protect mobile devices (19 %), email content (25 %) or applications (39 %) used by remote workers and suppliers