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CIO priorities 2012: Ali Jaffri, ICT manager, Gallions Housing

Ali Jaffri, ICT manager at Gallions Housing, talks about the challenges of 2012.

Like all housing associations, Gallions Housing is looking to rein in its costs following cutbacks in central government grants.

The housing association has seen its IT budget reduced from £250,000 to £100,000 this year, as it looks to free up more internal cash for housing project work.

“Our IT strategy implementation is being classified into things that are 'must have' and 'nice to have', and we are prioritising more of the projects that could bring in a quicker return on investment,” said ICT manager Ali Jaffri.

Gallions expects quick returns from investing in SharePoint this year. The project will allow the housing association to manage its internal data more effectively.

Each year, Gallions spends £10,000 adding new storage capacity to its network. Moving to SharePoint will reduce the upgrade costs, according to Jaffri.

Jaffri is also investing in a project ordering system, which will give Gallions a single view of all its suppliers.

“We are going to streamline purchasing and have a single supplier list, so we can ask suppliers for more (bulk) discounts,” he said.

The system could bring savings of 30% on purchases, once it is up and running.

Other projects have had to go on the back-burner, however, including an upgrade to Gallion’s VMware platform and a mobile data project.

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