Bharat Kumar, Chief Marketing Officer at Orchard, explains how digital transformation means different things depending on where an organisation is in their journey, and how a strategic relationship with a technology supplier can help with setting a clear path forward.
There’s clear consensus amongst leadership teams nationwide that digital transformation is essential, and the social housing sector is no exception. It’s not always easy to define what digital transformation actually means, though. Digital technology touches so many aspects of our lives already that it can be hard to identify which areas hold the greatest potential for improvement.
The truth is that digital transformation could mean a number of different things depending on exactly where your organisation is on its own journey. However, at Orchard we see a number of common themes amongst our clients.
For organisations taking their first steps towards becoming more digital, the top priority is usually to increase efficiency and productivity, leveraging technology to automate simple tasks or streamline more complex ones. For example, introducing a digital self-service platform which allows tenants to book repairs online can free up customer-facing teams to spend time on more complex enquiries.
As the efficiency benefits of digital transformation build, housing associations are able to reinvest savings into delivering greater value and a better experience for tenants. Digital transformation can support this objective, both by increasing the amount of time teams are able to spend with vulnerable tenants, and by providing tenants who are happy to self-serve with the ability to manage their tenancy whenever and wherever is best for them.
Housing associations who are further down their digital transformation journey often shift their focus from day-to-day process efficiencies to changes which impact the long-term strategic direction of their businesses, by gathering and leveraging valuable data insights to fuel board-level decision making. For example, if all tenant and payment data is stored in a central hub rather than siloed into different systems, it can be used to fuel predictive analytics tools which identify the tenants at highest risk of falling into arrears, allowing for early intervention.
Wherever your company is on their digital transformation journey, it’s vital to keep long-term organisational objectives in mind as well as realising short-term opportunities. To do this, housing associations need more than just the right software – instead, they need a strategic partnership with a software provider who is able to truly understand their challenges.
At Orchard, our vision is to help our customers achieve this longer-term value, by working with them across all facets of their business to understand the changes which will not only drive immediate value but which will set the right direction for the long term. In doing so, we aim to ensure that every housing association is able to identify and take the right steps forward in their own digital transformation journey.
Why not see how we can help you on your digital journey, contact us.
This article was originally published in 24 Housing Magazine