Creating a 21st Century Homes England

Over the last decade, we’ve seen the world around us transform. Access to information over the internet has more than tripled. 90% of households in Great Britain now have internet access, and expectations of how people want to interact with day to day services has risen immeasurably.

Public sector organisations like Homes England need to go much further than ticking the digital box with a standard online approach. It’s no longer good enough to just transform the frontline services into something clearer, simpler and faster, although that’s at least a start.

At Homes England we believe that we cannot support any real long term change if, like some parts of the public sector, we continue to function with traditional systems processes and tools.

Designing an organisation for the digital age

Most ‘internet-era’ organisations such as Uber, Airbnb or Deliveroo didn’t exist a few years ago. Their success is built on new types of business models and how they’ve taken advantage of new technologies to shape and meet the expectations of their growing customer groups.

They are data-driven. Using research and analytics to make informed business decisions. This helps to prioritise what to do and how and how their services work and operate. These types of organisations build on open-source and/or modular technology that allows for better future-proofing and scaling of services, increasing efficiency and sustainability.They work in multidisciplinary cross-functional teams. Focused around outcomes and bringing together the relevant knowledge and skills to deliver what’s needed.

There’s no reason why public sector organisations like Homes England can’t work like this as well.

We’re now starting to think of ourselves more as a ‘platform’ organisation. One that allows us to efficiently match supply and demand through data, networks and our authority as a government agency. Creating an ecosystem for smaller businesses to work with us and benefits the wider sector.

Starting from the inside out

Homes England Digital is here to equip the organisation with the tools, capabilities and behaviours fit for the digital age. We want to transform the culture and position Homes England as an exemplar of a 21st century public service organisation.

It’s important that before we design the right services externally, we need to focus on being the right organisation internally. We will do this by looking at our employee experience, understanding how we keep people informed and engaged and how we build the right skills and capability across the organisation to support that change to happen.

For us to succeed, the country needs a world class Homes England so we’re starting to make that happen. We want to do this as openly as possible and will use this blog and networks to discuss our progress.