Strategies for Small Supported Housing Providers in a Digital World

Supported housing providers

The digital era has revolutionised the supported housing sector, but for small, supported housing providers, adapting to this digital transformation can seem a daunting prospect, particularly with so many potential options to choose from and the advent of AI technology. However, it’s a crucial investment for the sake of efficiency, accuracy, and improved service delivery.

To help smaller providers navigate this digital transition, we’ve put together a few tips and strategies to help ease the process.

Digital Transition Tips

Phased Approach: Instead of a complete overhaul, take a step-by-step approach. Begin by digitising the most time-consuming tasks, then gradually move on to others.

Training: Ensure your staff is adequately trained on any new digital system. This might involve workshops, webinars, or hands-on training sessions. Remember, the effectiveness of a system largely depends on how well it’s utilised.

Feedback Loop: Regularly collect feedback from users of the system—both staff and residents. This feedback can guide further refinements.

Stay Updated: Digital solutions constantly evolve. Keep an eye out for updates and new features that can benefit your operations.

The Best Digital Tools

Cloud Storage (e.g., Google Drive, Dropbox): These tools allow for efficient digital document storage, collaboration, and access from anywhere, including staff smartphones and tablets.

Communication Tools (e.g., Slack, Microsoft Teams): Enhance internal communication and reduce email clutter. They can also help in coordinating with external stakeholders.

Project Management (e.g., Trello, Asana): Always useful for tracking tasks, repairs, or tenant concerns, ensuring nothing gets missed.

Digital Forms & Surveys (e.g., Google Forms): Easily collect feedback, applications, or any other required data from tenants without the paper mess.

Online Calendars (e.g., Google Calendar): Schedule property viewings, maintenance checks, and other tasks, and share them with relevant personnel.

Open Source Solutions: Many powerful digital tools are open source, meaning they’re free and customisable, although they might require some technical know-how.

Navigating Security Concerns

Choose Trusted Platforms: Always choose platforms known for their security features. Research and perhaps even consult with IT experts before committing to any software.

Regular Backups: Ensure that all digital data, especially sensitive tenant information, is backed up regularly to prevent loss.

Access Controls: Implement user roles and permissions. Not everyone needs access to all data at all times. Indeed, limiting access can reduce the risk of breaches.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Wherever possible, enable 2FA to add an extra layer of security.

Encryption: Ensure data, both in transit and at rest, is fully encrypted.

Regular Updates: Software updates often contain security patches. Ensure that all software, operating systems, and applications are regularly updated to their latest versions.

Educate Staff: More often than not, serious breaches are the result of human error. Regularly train staff on best practices, such as not clicking on suspicious email links and creating strong passwords that they never repeat.

The ECCO Solution

For small, supported housing providers, the digital world offers immense potential to enhance operations and tenant experience. With a strategic approach, the right tools, and a focus on security, even smaller providers can reap the benefits of digital transformation, ensuring they remain competitive and efficient in an increasingly digital world.

ECCO has built a digital management software package designed specifically for the care and supported housing sectors that is engineered to make life better for the millions of people in the UK in shared living facilities. It’s a smart, approachable, and flexible system that automate takes, brings all data points together into a cohesive package and allows staff more free time to focus on what really matters – the people.

We can also provide help with all of your security concerns; with regular backups, secure 2FA and industry-leading infrastructure. Contact us today and our team will get you sorted with a free ECCO demo and explore exactly what the software can offer your enterprise.

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