Report 2: How the sector is transforming
Attached is the second in our ‘Future gazing, Future shaping’ series. Please click here to download a copy.
The three reports outline a vision for housing in 2025, document how the sector is currently transforming and identify what is being learnt from innovations across housing and other sectors. This second report focuses on how organisations in the sector are currently approaching transformation and innovation activities.
The good news is that organisations within the sector are already embarking on a wide range of transformation activities. Nearly 94% of our survey of 70 organisations are either currently delivering some form or transformation programme or planning to implement one soon. The main drivers for this transformation are seen to be the delivery of efficiencies (61%) and the need to improve the customer experience (53%).
The approach to tackling these drivers is largely focused on changes in processes (69%), supported by making better use of technology (66%) and organisation culture (61%). This is an interesting balance and reflects the view found in our first report that by 2025 organisations will need to be fully digital, be lean in the way that they operate and have an agile employee workforce supported by a different organisation culture.
However, with technology being identified as being at the heart of transformation, our report identifies that more needs to be done in terms of digitalisation. For example, a third don’t have a full digital strategy to shape the way they will use technology in the future. And although 85% are focusing on using technology to improve customer access channels and the way employees work, there are still opportunities for more to be done in areas such as back office processes and the use of data.
Likewise, the sector needs to prepare for a potential skills gap. Nearly half of organisations stated that they don’t have the skills in-house to deliver their planned transformation. This includes the skills and experience required at Executive and Board levels needed to drive forward a change programme. This links to a general skills gaps in digital skills across the economy, meaning that competition will be high for those individuals with the skills to drive the digitalisation agenda forward in the future.
The research found that those who identify themselves as ‘innovators’ are however involved in some interesting areas. In addition to channel shift and mobile working, we are seeing innovations in areas such as wearable technology, drones and virtual reality. We are also seeing increased diversity in areas such as service delivery models and the offer to customers. With this in mind and transformation clearly a hot topic at the moment, our third report will focus on what is and can be learnt from innovators within and beyond the housing sector, as well as those new ideas being considered in other sectors which could be applied to housing.
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