Our work with Social Housing providers
We are currently working on a number of very interesting projects with Housing Association and Local Authority customers. All of these projects have the same key objective, to maximise business value from current and future investments in technology and deliver positive business outcomes.
Our customers cite a number of reasons for choosing to work with us:
- The breadth and depth of our subject matter expertise, the independent advice we are able to offer and our value in de-risking key decisions
- Our ability to challenge and take key stakeholders and decision makers through a structured thinking process
- We offer exceptional value for money, with flexible pricing and billing arrangements to suit customer sensitivities.
“itica is a pleasure to deal with, wholly professional with deep subject matter expertise in the housing sector. I would not hesitate to recommend them or use them again.”
Our work with Social Housing providers typically includes a review of an existing strategy and / or definition of a new strategy, particularly given the fact that both digital service delivery and workforce mobilisation are topmost on the list of priority outcomes these days. Our approach to strategy definition ensures that the organisation’s goals, plans and outcomes are genuinely underpinned by the ICT strategy, and this normally requires the engagement of a much wider audience from across the business.
We work with all stakeholders including ICT, to make sure that the defined strategy and any related initiatives will be readily approved by the executive team.
Digital service delivery and an overall drive for greater efficiency has forced housing providers to revolutionise the way they think about IT service provision. Once the strategy and desired business outcomes are defined, it’s vital to fully understand the organisational capability in terms of its health and gaps before embarking on any major technology investments or business transformation programmes. This core focus on the business is nothing new for itica and has formed the backbone of our consultancy methodologies from the outset.
It’s easy to blame technology for failure to deliver business outcomes, but in a large number of cases a lack of capability in other areas is likely to be the root cause of the issue.
We have worked with several housing providers to understand their current capability ahead of a significant business change or transformation. We have a proven capability diagnostic which, through a series of workshops, identifies areas for continuous improvement – these can then be fed into a transformation programme and will help to build a more complete investment case that doesn’t just focus on technology.
We have successfully used our capability diagnostic across housing businesses delivering valuable and actionable insight in areas such as asset management and repairs and maintenance as well as ICT.
Real business transformation is not always about doing the same things differently but instead doing different things. We help housing providers to effect business transformation by ensuring that there is a keen focus on the things that matter most. In particular, we are careful that there is not an over-focus on technology over processes, information and people.
In the past couple of years, all of our projects with housing providers have focused on 21stcentury service provision with a heavy emphasis on digital. We have a unique software toolset which is designed to manage transformation programmes in their entirety, including business value chain analysis, customer journey analysis and the ability to understand the impact of any transformation changes on the “business as usual” position as well as the overall transformation programme.
“itica is playing a critical role in assuring that we make the right decisions in support of our digital ambitions, challenging our key stakeholders and decision makers through its structured thinking process.”
Housing ICT reviews and intelligent sourcing
The big question is always “should we stick with what we’ve got and either work with our existing suppliers or build around it, or should we replace it with something else?” We have a proven methodology for conducting reviews which concentrates on a wider engagement with all areas within the business to ensure that business drivers and outcomes are properly understood, followed by an analysis of the current “as is” and future “to be” states. This exercise is often followed by a high-level soft market test exercise to validate supplier capability and costs against requirements.
The outputs from the review are presented as options in a report, enabling you to make an informed decision on the best way forward.
If an option to procure is exercised then we can work with you to define your requirements, execute the procurement process (working with your procurement team), evaluate the responses, negotiate the contract, ensure that proper project and supplier governance is implemented, act as a “critical friend” throughout the project or manage an aspect of the project on your behalf. We can also help to conduct a post project review, which focuses heavily on the delivery of business outcomes as opposed to just successful completion of the project.
We bring to the table an extensive knowledge of the housing ICT supplier landscape, covering the traditional suppliers, specialist “point” solution providers, ERP vendors, systems integrators, network / infrastructure / managed services providers and other suppliers who might be considered as “leading edge” technology providers. All this is coupled with a detailed understanding of integration methods, IT Service Management principles, the software development lifecycle / DevOps and IT supplier contracts / agreements.
Supplier Relationship Optimisation
Sometimes making an investment in an existing, challenged relationship is far better than the risks associated with procuring and implementing an alternative solution.
We have worked with housing providers to implement supplier relationship governance, to either recover a failing relationship or to ensure that a new relationship continues to deliver value for all parties beyond the initial implementation phase. We use a model and a methodology that we originally developed for private sector organisations, which also works extremely well for housing providers and their suppliers.
Interim Management, ICT Leadership Coaching and ICT Recruitment and Selection
We have the skills to take on most ICT management positions on an interim basis and can assist with the process of recruiting a permanent replacement (including headcount justification, development of job and person specifications, candidate appraisal / interview). In addition, we have helped newly promoted ICT Managers to “find their feet” through coaching and mentoring.
About us – are we different?
Our customers tell us (and others) that we bring a very different perspective to the table, always challenging with an eye for detail and the ability to focus on what really matters most. We think this has a lot to do with the skill sets in our team and our respective backgrounds before we entered the housing sector.
We have been working in the sector since 2010 and are in the process of completing our 26th consultancy assignment with our very first housing customer, Network Homes. We have also worked with a broad (diverse) range of Housing Associations and Local Authority providers of varying sizes and structure, including Gentoo Group, Notting Hill Genesis Group, First Ark Group, Regenda Group, Johnnie Johnson Housing, Octavia Housing, Paradigm Housing and Epping Forest District Council.
We work hard to build authentic, transparent and mutually beneficial relationships with all of our customers, and our conscience and strong business ethics will not allow us to take on any work where we are unable to deliver value. Our success is measured by achieving outcomes rather than contract signatures. In addition, all consultancy assignments that we undertake benefit from the entire itica team skillset, whether deployed directly or as “critical friend” and quality assurance resource in the background.
Most of our business is generated by word of mouth and customer recommendations, and we have been described as the housing sector’s best kept secret!
“Itica continues to deliver exceptional value for our organisation. Its thorough and focused sourcing process has, to date, resulted in enhanced service levels and savings on a key contract.”
Focus on what matters most with itica
To find out how we can help you and to hear more about the work we have done in any of these areas, please get in touch.