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Halton Housing Trust CEO Nick Atkin celebrates inclusion on Power Players list.

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Halton Housing Trust CEO Nick Atkin celebrates inclusion on Power Players list.

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Published by Laura Beckett for Halton Housing Trust in Housing and also in Communities

Nick Atkin Nick Atkin

Halton Housing CEO Nick Atkin has been named as number three on an annual round up of the top 50 digital power players in UK housing.  The list includes individuals from a range of housing associations as well as others who engage with the sector.

The Trust has been championing digital inclusion for a number of years, with policies and projects introduced in line with Nick’s enthusiasm for digital technology.  The Trust recently launched ‘Digital First’ an organisation wide project to assess how customers are accessing online services. The Trust, which has recently invested a lot in technology, wants to ensure that this technology is accessible to all customers. With more and more people accessing information and services online, either through a personal computer or a mobile device, it’s vital that these services are both accessible and widely useable.

Nick has ambitious targets which include the launch of the Trusts multi-functional app and the longer term target to get 90% of customers online by 2018.  The trust recognises the importance of digital technology in its resident’s day to day lives and wants to ensure the organisation is able to meet the evolving needs of its customers.  

It’s not just customer who are the focus for the Trusts digital thinking, the introduction of mobile working ensures the Trust operates as effectively as possible. This includes front line staff accessing vital information in real time to allow them to effectively deal with any issues that arise from home visits or customer feedback.

 Nick Atkin comments ‘I am truly surprised and also very humbled to be named as a digital power player alongside people who I respect and learn so much from, many of whom I would not be in contact with if it wasn’t for digital technology.

 2014 does seem to be the year that the housing world follows the lead from other sectors in understanding how digital can revolutionise both the customer experience and service offer.  It also offers the potential to totally transform how organisations work, which is why, as part of the Trusts Digital First project, we’re assessing how our customers engage with the services we provide digitally. We want to ensure that all our customers have the option to take advantage of our digital services and with developments such as the affordable £30 tablet and inexpensive data; we’re in a strong position to be a truly digitally inclusive organisation. As Peter Kay says about garlic bread, it’s the future!’

Paul Taylor, the author of the Digital Power Players list explains;  ‘The alternative power players started life as a light hearted response to the official powerplayers list in 24 Housing Magazine. But it created a lot of serious discussion about the nature of online influence. With #powerplayers14 we wanted to give people the option to nominate those thought to have made a big digital impact. We were amazed to see over 140 different people nominated from within the housing sector and from those thought to influence it.

 I think Nick made the list because of his vision about how housing could be transformed through digital technology.  He received one of the highest number of votes which confirms his standing in the #ukhousing social community. Indeed no-one has driven the importance of digital leadership in the sector more than him.

 Digital is not going away and we need leaders who can inspire both staff and people who use services across housing, care and health.  We need more leaders like Nick to embed digital innovations as an integral part of the support available within every community.’

 You can access the full list of the Top 50 digital power players in UK housing here.

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