OutSystems, provider of the number one platform for low-code development, today announced that Hackney London Borough Council is using the OutSystems platform to enhance its digital services. Hackney Council is the local government authority for the London Borough of Hackney and one of the largest London borough councils with more than 3,500 staff. With OutSystems, the Council is building and delivering a number of important applications that will support tenants and leaseholders in its housing estate which comprises 28,000 homes and 32,000 tenancy leaseholders.
Hackney Council selected OutSystems over other vendors because it demonstrated a number of strengths.
Matthew Cain, Head of Digital and Data, said: “One of my early tasks when I joined Hackney Council in 2017 was to understand the digital architecture of the council, and while it was quite robust and sophisticated, it was also out of date in certain areas. Having had previous experience of low-code platforms, I was keen to understand the potential scope of low-code and rapid application development in supporting Hackney’s ambition to deliver better services.”
The new initiative with OutSystems will enable the delivery of digital capabilities to its housing estate and is a part of Hackney Council’s ambition to move online to improve customer services and reduce costs. The first product, ‘Manage My Rent Account’ is a mobile application that has been designed for more than 8,500 tenants of Hackney properties. Hackney Council is also in the final stages of private beta for another application called ‘Manage My Tenancy’, which has been specifically designed for officers who look after Hackney’s housing estate. Both applications will enable tenants and housing officers to manage their rent accounts and estates remotely.
“We invited OutSystems along with a couple of other vendors to demo their platforms. We were immediately struck with the flexibility of OutSystems UX,” said Cain. It is really important that we continuously improve the experiences that our users have in order for them to succeed unaided. We were also impressed by the openness of the product and its ability to access data via the rest API points.”
OutSystems was awarded the contract and worked in partnership with Hackney Council to refine its requirements. Hackney was impressed with the OutSystems approach and viewed the project as a true co-design effort. The platform has enabled developers to speed up their pace of work and have a deeper understanding of user needs. Cain added: “OutSystems is a valuable enabler allowing our developers to produce high quality solutions quickly. We have a number of graduate and apprentice developers and the speed that they are now able to work and the quality and consistency of their output is amazing.”
“We expect to develop one new app per quarter over the next 12 months. Previously, we were lucky if we could develop two apps in a year, so we have doubled our capability to deliver apps faster to the business.”
Hackney Council is also evaluating the role that OutSystems can play in supporting its internal systems, such as systems to manage joiners, movers, and leavers. Cain conclued: “How digital we are right now is not an easy question to answer. We have a lot of web forms and IT-enabled processes, but there is still an extensive program of work to ensure our services meet our users’ needs. Our goal is to deliver high-quality end-to-end digital services for our residents and staff, and OutSystems will certainly help us meet this ambition.”