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Digital inclusion: Breaking down the digital barriers

How many times have you heard the phrase ‘digital inclusion’?

It’s pretty obvious by now there’s a global movement towards digital inclusion, and there’s no denying that the housing sector needs to get to grips with digital inclusion. Digital inclusion Breaking down the digital barriers

Housing associations face new challenges from having to adapt to different tools and technology that can assist in meeting increasing service demands and help them operate more efficiently.

This is why it makes sense for the housing sector to be digitally ready.

Breaking down digital housing barriers

The problem with implementing digital housing measures is there are still 8.7 million adults in the UK who say they have never been online.

Almost half of these – a staggering 4.1m – live in the social housing sector.

With such a diverse audience, how do we stay connected to those who are not online?

To help you out, here are three ways that you can break down the digital barriers.

Understanding the user, not the provider

More often than not, people start with choosing tools before fully understanding the user. Before you can apply the tools you need, you should understand who’s using them and what you may need to do to help users adjust.

The question housing associations should be asking is:

What are the users gaining from technology? And how are they using it?

Remember, there are 8.7million adults who have never been online, so there are solutions out there that can help you to integrate digital inclusion.

Take mobile, for example, SMS reminders are a perfect solution for those who are without access to the internet.

The digital divide in the housing sector

Digital exclusion strategies target people without access to the internet.

Despite these strategies, heavy organisational focus on becoming digitalised can mean missing out on leveraging offline networks.

With that being said, these networks have been around for some time, so it’s important to integrate them in coordination with online tools to effectively reach those who never been online.

Digital inclusion: Address the barriers

It’s obvious by now that not everyone is an internet user, which is causing a barrier for information sharing the housing sector.

But what is preventing people from using the internet?

Well, it’s their motivation, skills and access. To be successful in guiding and supporting your networks, these three areas need to be addressed.

Many people see the internet as a golden ticket. Yet, without the need to go online, the skills to use online network effectively or the ability to access online materials, you can leave people feeling excluded.

To put it simply, everything is being progressed faster, and the housing sector can’t be left behind.

Yet, you still need to ensure those who are not online aren’t forgotten.

To stay ahead and take the first step on that ladder to a digital transformation, why not attend our Digital Housing Conference 2018.

This event is designed to provide delegates from across the housing sector with an invaluable insight into the latest developments from across central and local government, the private sector and academia.

Book your tickets today and stay ahead when it comes to digital developments in housing.

Posted in Media and Digital
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