For many of us, “asking Alexa” is now a common feature of our everyday lives. If you have an AI voice assistant in your home you will be quite used to asking it to play you a piece of music, order some shopping, turn the heating on or switch on the lights.
I’ve no doubt they will also prove themselves to be useful in the coming months as the COVID-19 Coronavirus develops, particularly in relation to our elderly friends and relatives. As these vulnerable members of society are increasingly forced to self isolate, issues such as loneliness and social isolation will become as challenging perhaps as the virus itself. Any tech which can help ease these problems - even if it’s just by making a video call a lot easier - has the potential to be part of the solution.
Reviewing your IT strategy? Chris Shaw sets out the questions you should be asking.
Shaw’s Chris Shaw talks about the benefits of Office 365 for the social housing sector
Making the decision to switch to any new piece of tech usually involves a straightforward cost-benefit analysis. How much will it cost to switch to a new system and what will the benefits be? Do the financial and operational improvements delivered by the new system outweigh the costs of replacing the old one?
It’s not always easy and there can often be multiple factors to consider. Overcoming workforce opposition and “this is the way we’ve always done things” is often the biggest hurdle. But in one area, the push towards a new way of working appears almost unstoppable.
When it comes to the way housing associations manage IT workflows, file storage, collaboration and communications we are currently seeing a tectonic shift away from traditional “on premises” solutions. Providers are recognising that storing documents and emails on their own servers, with software manually and physically installed on all workstations, is an outdated and an inefficient way of working.
And for offices where the use of Microsoft Office software is ingrained and embedded - there is a new solution - which won’t require retraining or a radical new way of working. In some ways it’s about putting existing tools to (much) better use.