Housing Plus Group Lays Foundations for Service Transformation

The economic consequences of COVID-19 are already impacting on the social housing sector, under no illusion that this is just the beginning.

Housing Associations are proactively looking at ways to continue fulfilling their social-purpose mission within their much-changed economic and social landscape. 

Housing Plus Group is a leading provider of quality, affordable homes and care services that customers can trust. The group owns more than 19,000 homes and employs approximately 1,000 people in Staffordshire and Shropshire.

For Housing Plus Group, digital transformation is proving to be a successful way to streamline business-wide operations and consequently to continue nurturing investment in communities.

Realigning IT and Business Strategies

Following extensive merger and acquisitions activity, Housing Plus Group were operating across dispersed locations.

Their IT system consisted of an amalgamation of components from each estate, rather than a coherent and fully integrated environment.

As a result, the IT system was inflexible and complex to change with multiple unknowns.

With over 800 staff supporting the group’s 18,000 homes, and a significant care and support operation, the group has big ambitions to grow further by M&A activity and by building another 300 homes annually.

On a day-to-day basis, productivity was impacted across the board due to sub-optimal service grades.

Resilience to incidents was limited. The risk of outages and unsecured or out-of-date security profiles was becoming progressively worse and adversely affecting the user experience. 

“The rate of growth and change within the business was unsupported by our existing infrastructure. We knew we needed a new IT system which aligned to current business needs and enabled an environment which can accommodate merger integration, on-going group expansion, and service transformation."

Andrew Dale, Director of IT at Housing Plus Group.

A Flexible Platform for Business Needs of Today and Tomorrow

Identified as an enabler for HPG’s primary objective, cloud migration was certain to support the implementation of a more agile working strategy.

Such a diverse organisation requires strong network connectivity, and a flexible infrastructure, to deliver critical services to customers, and provide access to the applications staff need to operate effectively.

In September 2019, Incline-IT won the contract to deliver the migration, and by June 2020, the two organisations had completed the project.

Incline-IT now continues the ongoing management of the infrastructure under the governance of Housing Plus Group.

“Incline-IT were competitive and transparent on price, and their flexible solutions represented excellent value for money. Their innovative approach utilises and integrates the best of breed SaaS solutions from industry-leading partners such as AWS. This meant they could offer something truly bespoke for our unique requirements. Their open, transparent approach means we can be confident they will deliver what we need, both now and into the future, no matter how the business grows and transforms."

Andrew Dale, Director of IT at Housing Plus Group.

Success Fuelled by Partnership

As well as a significant cost reduction, with first-quarter uptime of 100% for AWS services and all Housing Plus Group apps built on top, the results of the digital transformation have been excellent.

Not only has it vastly improved user experience, security, and resilience, but it has also enabled the business to invest further in service improvements for customers.

After the initial bedding-in phase, Housing Plus Group is now planning to extract further value from their new IT environment with a new wave of innovation, where data and IoT will become key themes in transforming services and the customer experience. 

“We devised a clear IT and digital strategy but needed the right services and partners to enable the delivery of it. Working in partnership with Incline-IT has enabled us to realise our strategy and allow IT to become an enabler of change for Housing Plus Group. We now have sound foundations, and this allows us to focus more on the business and innovate with new technologies such as analytics and IoT. This will help us realise more efficiencies and drive even more service improvement to our core customers.”

Andrew Dale, Director of IT at Housing Plus Group.

Digital Transformation Opportunities

“Incline-IT was created 12 months ago based on core principles of transparency, cloud-first, and automation first. We aim to work in partnership with organisations to resolve issues, reduce legacy IT, and automate repetitive tasks. This allows customers to embrace the biggest benefits of cloud computing, flexibility, and speed. Consequently, enabling them to focus on what really matters, the tenants and residents that they serve.”

Andrew McLaughlin, Managing Director at Incline-IT

Enquire today to discuss your digital transformation opportunities.