Exploring Current Thinking In Remote Management & Monitoring

“Which of the following forms or remote access, management or monitoring systems do you currently use?” Base: All who currently use remote access, management or monitoring systems (all answering) (101)

43 per cent of all respondents said that they believed cost savings were one of the biggest benefits of the technology

When monitoring energy usage and temperature levels in a home, whether

through a human or an automated computer algorithm, housing providers can far more easily identify and support vulnerable tenants who may be struggling with fuel poverty, for example. While only 22 per cent of respondents said that the identification of

vulnerable tenants was one of the biggest benefits of remote technologies, 71 per cent agreed that remote technologies can positively impact the health and safety of vulnerable tenants. When commenting on how remote technologies have impacted the health

and safety of tenants in their work, respondents cited a “sense of security and wellbeing” being provided, and that it has enabled them to “manage properties with disabled tenants who are reluctant to let visitors into their homes, detecting a lack of movement where necessary.”

FIRE SAFETY One of the most important reasons building owners need to gain access to a property - especially after any lapses in access caused by Covid - is to assess the level of risk each resident and property poses, and this is especially important with regard to fire safety. Using a cloud-based gateway, ‘smart’ fire safety technologies can allow for

instant real time remote monitoring of smoke, heat and carbon alarms, enabling housing providers to achieve full traceability, audit and compliance management across their housing stock. And, as mentioned previously, such technologies now go further than just the

ability to monitor devices, but are often able to send data such as alarm diagnostics across the cloud instantly to warn housing providers when they might be likely to need replacement, and give in-depth information as to just how each alarm is performing, with some manufacturers even developing artificial intelligence approaches to provide stratification of risk across entire housing stocks.

Multiple comments were made about the positive outcomes of such

technologies when asked about the impact of remote technologies on the health and safety of their tenants, with one noting that they “identified a fire and called the fire brigade before residents could, with a positive outcome,” and another stating that “remote smoke alarms allowed [them] to monitor vulnerable tenants and see trends.” Despite these clear benefits however, only 18 per cent of respondents who use

remote technologies currently have remote leak, fire smoke and carbon monoxide alarms installed in their housing stock.

COST-SAVINGS With narrowing margins for landlords and tightening budgets for social housing providers, cost savings are often vital where possible. Metering, monitoring, surveillance and billing are all able to be achieved

online, often removing the burden of managing the system and lowering the man-hours necessary. Financial savings can be made across the board here, with all the solution advantages listed able to reduce costs to some degree by lessening human involvement. While only 15 per cent of respondents who already use remote technologies

cited that they originally started doing so to save costs - and in fact 29 percent of those who don’t use such technologies haven’t done so because of the initial costs - 43 per cent of all respondents said that they believed cost savings were one of the biggest benefits of the technology. Cost-savings were also reported in the comment box when asked how remote

technologies have impacted the health and safety of their tenants, with one respondent stating that “remote 24/7 monitoring is very cost-effective compared to daily visits of one hour or less.”

DATA GATHERING In the modern era, data gathering is forming the major business model for tech giants such as Google, the dissemination of this data now being the main product of many online business ventures. Data has always been important in housing also, and its digitalisation is

providing benefits across the board, the cost savings it can produce growing larger than ever. Remote data is proving beneficial in housing for many reasons, from enabling better communications with tenants through contact information and

28 | HMM April/May 2021 |

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