As CEO of Tricension, a Kansas City, MO based IT consulting firm, I have learned to view the world through the lens of “How can technology make this better?” Last week, I was able to put this worldview to the test; I had the privilege of attending the 2016 NCSHA Annual Conference and Showcase in Miami, FL. While I was there, I learned that while housing agencies across the country are leveraging technology in many different ways, there is still a lot of opportunity to help agencies better manage their IT solutions in innovative ways that increase efficiency for employees, and effectiveness for the agencies. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Most housing agencies realize the many benefits of a CRM system. A well-featured CRM can help housing agencies streamline their communications to developers and constituents using low-income housing. In an industry facing growing claims on resources, climbing occupant demand and rigorous regulations, a CRM-centric software solution designed to conform to the unique requirements of the industry could drive efficiency into the overall business process. While an out-of-the-box product may conform to some of the lines of business in an agency, imagine the potential of using a unified platform that has been extended to meet the broad requirements of the industry. The Power of Analytics As a governmental agency, you have any number of data sources available to you; household demographic data, mortgage data, housing census information, etc. Leveraging the diversity of your data sources offers tremendous opportunities to identify patterns and insights for improving upon the realization of the mission of your industry. Informational silos isolate information, which in turn, makes it more difficult for housing agencies to recognize the correlation/causation relationships between constituents and other related data sets. A strong MDM strategy allows you to provide a single version of the truth, enabling you to make highly strategic decisions more quickly, based on complete, reliable, and interactive data – saving your time and your organization down the road. Security It used to be that hackers were a rare breed of cyber-parasite but with the proliferation of technology has come a congruent increase in cyber threat activity. Every day, an agency manages extremely sensitive data, and it is a fact that few organizations are able to recover from the loss of trust following a security breach. Regular IT security assessments and audits play an integral part in making sure your agency’s information stays safe on your watch. See You Next Year I’d like to offer a sincere thank you to the organizers of the 2016 NCSHA Annual Conference & Showplace. The NCSHA has done an incredible job of creating a relevant, highly informational event for all attendees, and as I looked around the event space, I was gratified to see so many organizations doing right by the public. The work these housing agencies and support organizations do doesn’t just serve to help people obtain affordable housing – the work they do helps people create homes. Leveraging technology in new ways can only serve to streamline operations and make that important mission less stressful and more effective, with greater reach to individuals in need.