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underpinned by strong supporting evidence, that result in decisions that deliver the most appropriate business outcomes.

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Is your organisation drowning in business applications?

Is your organisation drowning in business applications?

Every organisation is complex. Everyone acknowledges that when you have operations dealing with multiple clients, systems and having to adhere to regulation and legislation, there's always added complexity.  

For example, whilst every housing association has the aspiration to have a singular master system that's going to act as a central database managing every aspect of your relationship with tenants, payments, properties, repairs, etc. The reality is that, over the years, specialist niche business applications come in that are required for the day to day running of the organisation which don't fit into the setup you already have in place and fragments that single source of the truth dataset.   

To begin with, it's just one or two additional business applications that are added out of necessity. Then legislation is changed, and you have to add a new application to the mix in order to be compliant. Two years later you transfer all this data to a new version of this application with more capabilities but continue to run a couple of workflows through the old application. 

Very quickly, before you consciously know it, you can end up with this mass of applications and application sprawl has taken hold and have no way of seeing the wood for the trees. 

This happens in all sectors but our experience in the social housing sector has shown this happens very often. 

Many applications exist in social housing sector as they are legally required to have them, such as fire safety systems and electrical certification systems (to name just two). These manage the obligations of the landlord to make sure that those things are all tested, up to date and compliant, etc. Both applications contain elements of every customer's record but the information they hold on the fire safety systems or electrical certifications are all exclusive to each app. That's where the applications then form this data legacy. However, that is another post in entirety!  

Having your organisation spread across multiple business applications isn’t a bad thing and don’t get us wrong sometime sit just has to be that way. However, issues arise when the organisation wants to get reporting information and start asking questions like “How are we performing in relation to our fire safety or boiler service checks?” and “How is this particular service performing compared to a previous period?” If all this information is spread across multiple applications, it makes the process of retrieving this information more inefficient, costing your organisation time and money on so many levels. Having the governance controls to make the right decision here is critical and consciously have an application alternative rather than just falling into another system choice.  

The answer to new applications can't always be no. There might be a genuine business reason why you have to have this additional application in place such as a new compliance requirement and if that functionality simply does not exist in the main housing management system. Nobody sets out to create application sprawl it just gradually happens.

If application sprawl is causing inefficiencies in your organisation, please get in touch. Our team is here to help you cut through the clutter and work out an application rationalisation plan through an application review and enable you to reduce that application and data overlap an improve your reporting.

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