It Does Compute: The Role of Technology in Housing

By Laraine Geddes

Advances in technology have already transformed the housing sector; David Todd, Director of Partner & Account Management at Kirona, picks out the next keys trends that will help social landlords meet customer demands.

Innovation and Technology is a key area for Homes, so delegates can share the opportunities that are already available to the housing sector, and the potential impacts of current trends in technology. In particular we are concerned with the following themes:

  • The current and future role of technology in housing – how does technology underpin value for money?
  • Digital inclusion and tenant engagement
  • Better utilisation of data and technology

This year Homes has joined forces with INMOTION, the well-known social housing event concerned with innovation. There will be sessions branded as INMOTION that are specifically focused on trends and best practice in technology, with a number of case studies.

Expectations of customer service are constantly rising because of everyday experience of what is available using the web in other sectors such as retail and travel. The housing sector may be catching up and in some cases matching the best elsewhere, but innovation will continue so the target is always moving. Housing providers have to embrace social media and customer self-service not only to meet their customers’ expectations but to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Value for money will be a consistent message this year, given the financial pressures on housing providers with uncertain future income streams. In asset management, mobile working was the original basis of INMOTION and is well understood at least in responsive repairs but it still has potential to transform the way many other services are delivered. Again, expectations are always changing, perhaps driven by the younger customers and employees but available to all demographics, so that data and technology are available wherever and whenever needed.

Keeping up with the technology terminology as well as trends is one of the benefits of Homes, and the term that has emerged over the past year is the Internet of Things. This has the potential to transform asset management strategies and management. At its simplest, it is about connecting sensors in every home for the benefit of residents and landlords alike, providing that housing providers can meet the challenges of managing the huge volumes of data that will be generated.

Homes 2015, Olympia, London, 18th and 19th November.

This article originally featured in Homes Insight magazine August 2015.