Our round-up from the Digital Innovation in Housing Conference

‘Digital Innovation in Housing’ brought together key innovators in the world of digital and housing. The event attracted over 80 housing representatives keen to understand how to plan and deliver large scale digital transformations, to see demonstrations of new technology and to move from being reactive to proactive using data.

We heard from a range of digital innovators with extensive knowledge in digital and the housing sector:

Key questions asked:

How do we engage tenants who are not currently online?

You will find the percentages will be quite low, look after those tenants separately and focus the digital transformation on the rest.

How can we avoid becoming viewed as faceless organisations as we go increasingly digital?

Allow customers to use the channel they prefer, some people don’t want to see you face to face or speak to you over the phone and will go to your website to solve their problems. Others prefer a more personal approach – know what channel your customers want to use.

Lyle McCalmont, Leighton

Workshop insights:

“The drivers for attack are many and varied- 49% of attacks are malicious or criminal”

“Ransomware is by far the fastest going area and proving very profitable”

Cyber security: Geoff Linnell, Board Member, Incommunities and Chair, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

“We no longer go online, we live online”

“Maps provide unique insights into businesses and engage customers in unique ways like no other medium”

Visualising customer and other data using Google Maps: Duncan Farley, Head of Transformation, Ancoris

“Data is the key when moving from reactive to pre-emptive services”

“Ask yourself the question- how clean is your data?”

Moving from reactive to pre-emptive services: Carole Galsworthy, Director of ICT, Halton Housing Trust

“HACT data standards- data is saved in different places and called different things- the HACT data standards will improve data for all and make it more useable.”

HACT’s Digital Data Standard: Frances Hipple, Director of HACT Digital

“More data has been created in the past 2 years than in the entire history of the human race”

Data science and its potential for the housing sector: Mark Moynihan and Silviu Tofan, Adactus Housing Association

Quote from Dave Sheridan, Keepmoat Regeneration

Event organiser Callum Smith from the NHC felt the event took place at a critical time of change for housing providers:

“The importance of digital innovation and digital transformation in housing cannot be understated. It is now a matter of business necessity, ensuring that housing providers are future focused and able to offer consistently brilliant services to customers.

The conference came about through a realisation that the housing sector was perceived as further behind than other sectors in the area of digital innovation. The NHC, and sponsor Retinue, felt it was time to bring together leaders in digital and housing to showcase the great partnership working which is transforming housing associations in all levels of digital – streamlining services, boosting efficiency, using new technologies and pre-empting the need for repairs before they happen.

We felt a real buzz from the speakers and audience alike and will be taking steps to build on these great ideas through further digital themed events and conferences.”