Avela has become a trusted partner of Belfast-based housing association Clanmil after establishing a strong strategic plan for their information technology functions.
Since 1977, Clanmil have been providing affordable housing in Northern Ireland and now have over 4,000 homes and around 250 staff.
In 2016 Clanmil approached Avela to provide strategic ICT support, advising on the appointment of new ICT personnel and helping to resolve problems with their housing management system.
Avela’s Ian Cresswell delivered 15 days of onsite consultancy and became their interim head of ICT. Ian recruited a new Head of ICT and Systems Analyst, laying the foundations for the ongoing development of Clanmil’s ICT provision.
We spoke to Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing, to find out how Avela’s support has helped the organisation embrace digital change.
Q: What was it that made Clanmil choose us to provide the strategic ICT support that you needed?
CM: “It was Avela’s high competency in the area than made us choose them to provide ICT support at Clanmil.”
Q: How has our strategic consultancy changed the way you do ICT at Clanmil?
CM: “Avela have given us the confidence to make big decisions on our ICT needs. We’ve got a more ‘can do’ approach with less fear. Avela have kick started our journey with technology.”
Q: Through our consultancy work, we aim to be a trusted partner and ‘critical friend’ to organisations. Was that aim borne out in your experience working with us?
CM: “Absolutely – throughout the process there’s been lots of hand-holding and practical guidance. We worked with Avela’s strategic ICT lead Ian Cresswell and the relationship was very positive – Ian’s approach was helpful, knowledgeable and pragmatic.”
Q: We pride ourselves on delivering a tailor-made service to organisations rather than a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Did you feel that your organisation’s individual needs were taken into account?
CM: “Yes definitely – Ian took time to get to know us and suggest how we could tailor the support to our needs.”
Q: How has working with us helped Clanmil achieve its goals of delivering a top class service to residents?
CM: “It helped us to make a critical decision on our housing management system as well as introduce mobile working.”
Q: Building lasting relationships is really important to us. Do you think your relationship with Avela will continue?
CM: “We feel an affinity with Avela, your values and the quality of what you do – your willingness to share learning and experiences has shown us we could gain a lot from more in-depth working together.”