The growing demands on housing providers to offer affordable homes to customers are well documented. Further pressures in the social housing sector, such as constrained budgets, rapidly changing citizen expectations, increased security and compliance issues, and complex IT environments are all adding to the task at hand. This is why, as the numbers of tenants increase and the demand for better, smarter services grows, housing associations are increasingly taking a technology-led approach to remain competitive.
Cloud technology and adoption is growing rapidly, with most experts predicting that 50% of the UK enterprise software market will be cloud-hosted Software as a Service (SaaS) within two years, double today’s figure. With cloud underpinning deeper business intelligence, improved service outcomes and being more secure and greener than ever before, now is the time for housing providers to reap the benefits.
Cloud is the enabler of new technologies
Most housing associations are not ready to migrate everything to the cloud, but they should already focus on building a vision for the journey. Cloud solutions offer a springboard from which housing associations can test technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence, pushing innovation further to drive better experiences for their customers. Chatbots, for example are delivering lasting benefits for companies by providing accurate 24/7 availability. Elsewhere, data analytics tools are helping organisations gain valuable insights into their customers, to make their businesses more customer-centric. Take Durham County Council for example: by moving to a cloud-based licensing software, the council has been able to improve real-time service delivery while also tailoring communications with citizens based on their respective needs and interests.
Beyond technology, cloud is a culture change
The ability to adapt to sudden change is crucial in today’s digital world. Adopting cloud-based solutions will require a certain amount of flexibility and adaptability on the part of housing associations, so both employees and customers can drive true value from the technology. For many organisations, this is an opportunity for reworking processes and reframing approaches to work.
This should be looked upon as a unique chance for organisations to create a culture shift, focused on driving continuous innovation and an ever-stronger dedication to customer service. The cloud has the potential to further enable a truly dynamic, flexible culture within housing associations, which can only lead to more success and improved customer satisfaction.
Find the best partners for your cloud journey
Both public and private sector organisations are looking for ways to reduce costs while continuing to drive innovation. Put simply, the cloud is a cost-efficient investment that enables housing associations to reinvest savings back into the organisation and building better connected and safer communities for all customers.
The cloud’s reliability, scalability and efficiency means organisations can consistently meet their customer needs without driving up costs. When replacing an on-premise solution, the benefits of the cloud for customer outcomes are indisputable. But without the technical expertise in place, housing associations should look to a trusted partner to support them along their cloud journey, to navigate the complex cloud landscape and ensure that they really drive true value from the implementation.
With so many public service organisations now unable to afford the cost of old technology, aligned with higher security and compliance standards and keeping pace with customer expectations, embracing cloud technologies is the only rational choice; providing the scalability critical to growing and evolving organisations.
This insight is part of techUK's Cloud Week 2020. You can find related news and insights here.