Menu Close

The growing importance of Information Technology

The IT sector and the demand for IT professionals has grown rapidly in recent years and will continue to grow as businesses put IT and digital at the heart of their strategies. What was once seen as merely an operational function is now central to modern business models and competitive advantage.

PiLON has long recognised the importance of IT to create efficiencies and new ways of working. Our investment and focus on building digital capability in-house has been integral to our successful growth strategy.

When I joined PiLON in 2008 my role was to ensure connectivity on site, setting up the work email on BlackBerry devices, deploying email signatures for Outlook, setting up SharePoint sites, securing devices, all of which were quite challenging and time-consuming tasks. But even then, PiLON understood the potential for IT and employed in-house software developers to develop our first application designed to streamline the business processes at the time.

We then developed a Customer Portal, a web-based application designed to improve communication with residents during refurbishment works. It worked and satisfaction scores went up as a result. This was a unique approach to service delivery, at a time when the smartphone was in its infancy.

Today, my team comprises Software Developers, Product Managers, and IT Engineers. We have multiple streams of work including the development and delivery of a new ERP system, PiLLAR 2.0.

PiLLAR is built on a microservices architecture, which enables us to create independent and decoupled processes and services which can be deployed and developed at pace and scale. The development of PiLLAR 2.0 is in direct response to our clients’ needs – systems integration, real-time data and cyber security.

For our client Peabody, we developed a tailored solution that delivered real-time operational updates from appointment information through to invoicing. This data is automatically transferred via APIs using SOAP protocol between our PiLLAR and Northgate.

We understand that our clients need effective integration between different systems to simplify workflows, make informed decisions and increase productivity. At PiLON we can now integrate with any third-party system via APIs.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is clearly a growing force in the technology industry and potentially a disruptive force within the construction sector.

Smart homes that use internet enabled devices will only get smarter. These will shift from performing actions, such as turning on the lights, to providing information, such as when a smoke detector is faulty. As these technologies evolve they will surely play a role in managing and maintaining social housing. AI elements such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) are already integrated into PiLLAR 2.0 and AI is part of our digital development roadmap.

Claudiu Darie – Head of IT, PiLON