In any housing association, the technological requirements are vast. That is why the benefits of utilising a social housing IT partner is plentiful.
Technology partnerships exist to help social housing organisations implement and optimise their technical systems. But budget and time restraints can often mean that the value of an IT partner is overlooked by CIOs and CEOs in the sector.
At Digital Space, we may be a little biased, but we honestly understand that working in partnership with an IT provider can transform IT infrastructures and help drive digital strategies. Let us explain why.
No two organisations are the same
In social housing, no two organisations are the same and there is ‘no one-size-fits-all’ technology solution. Some housing associations are part of Local Authorities and manage a handful of properties in one region, while others have built thousands of homes across the UK. Technology requirements can depend on the number of homes, tenants and employees, and how services are used. An IT partner has high level experts on hand, who can provide a tailored consultation and advice on the best IT solutions to meet objectives and strategies.
Expertise at your fingertips with a social housing IT partner
Social housing IT partners have an invaluable team of professionals on hand, who have specialisms across various areas of IT and departments. Each of these professionals would have worked with several and varying housing associations to ensure successful results. Organisations can utilise this broad level of expertise from their IT partner to gain advice and address challenges as required.
Social housing IT partners often have excellent relationships with strategic vendor partners, which allows them to supply and resell a comprehensive range of products. Having a number of solutions available as well as the additional expertise, ensures that IT partners can provide recommend and supply the best product for an organisation’s needs and strategy. This is particularly beneficial to a housing association’s IT team as they don’t have to spend valuable time researching and find the right IT solution for them.
24/7 support and maintenance
Any form of IT downtime can severely impact operations including stopping tenants from reporting emergency repair issues and costing organisations money that they do not have. There is often not enough budget for an internal professional to monitor a network 24/7 but some IT partners, like Digital Space, provides a Network Operations Centre with experts on hand continuously monitoring infrastructure and potential threats. In doing so, they can detect and respond to any issues such as hardware malfunctions, security incidents or server failover, before it impacts operations helping to save the organisation invaluable time and money.
Covid-19 has taught housing associations that technology solutions may need to be implemented at a moment’s notice. Whether its Microsoft Teams Voice to support remote working or a new cloud-based telephony solution like MiCloud Flex from Mitel to support contact centres, any technology implemented needs to work effectivity alongside high levels of bandwidth, good broadband and security applications. An IT partner will ensure that all its services and solutions are able to work together to provide high quality results for the organisation, its employees, and tenants. What’s more, with a social housing IT partner, it should be easier to adapt and add new services to the IT infrastructure without any issues rising.
Digital Space is one of the few IT managed services providers who provide an abundance of services from connectivity through to end user support for social housing. Listening to feedback from our social housing customers has enabled us to identify common challenge areas in the industry, including social housing head offices, remote workforces in housing associations, providing resident care, and security and compliance regulations within the social housing industry.