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My career in Progress | Andy, Business Systems Manager

Hi Andy, you've been with the Group for over 20 years, what brought you here initially?

After completing a computing BTEC at college, I was looking for an opportunity to get into IT. I applied for a Trainee IT Technician role at the Group and was lucky to be offered the job.

What made you want to get into business systems as a career?

I was primarily drawn by its diversity. All elements of IT are interesting in their own way. Still, with systems, you are working alongside the core of the business, understanding departments' processes and methods of working and striving to make people's jobs easier and the Group more dynamic. It has a good mix of simpler administration, complex problem solving and building solutions that make a difference.

Can you tell us about the career progression and learning and development you've received at the Group?

When I first joined the Group, I was put through several qualifications and gained lots of on-the-job experience from my colleagues, who helped me build diverse knowledge and skills across the IT department.

I then pursued the opportunity to progress to a Business Systems Officer, concentrating on system support and project implementations for new systems.

I was also given an opportunity to diversify into Data Protection for a time which helped expand my view of governance and policy. I returned to Business Systems when the manager role became available and I've enjoyed building a great team and supporting team members' career progress.

We have a diverse and knowledgeable IT department, so there are opportunities to learn from all that expertise. We have excellent supplier relationships (where we can learn from their knowledge and expertise) and formal training opportunities to help progress your career.

What is it like working in business systems and digital services here at Progress?

We have a cohesive and friendly department. Everyone attempts to help each other out in any way possible. We have a mix of 'old hands' who have been here a long time, know the business inside out and can share much of that knowledge, and newer colleagues bringing expertise from other organisations. Together, we're always working to improve things and make the business stronger.

People stick around and progress in our department, which is an excellent indicator of how welcoming it is and has been ever since I've worked here.

What does an average week look like for you and your team?

It's a mix of administrative tasks like adding new user accounts to systems and managing user security, resolving problems for specific users across the many systems we support, to whole systems having issues where we need to liaise with our suppliers to resolve.

We continuously implement changes to systems and processes and work on projects to implement new systems or upgrades - with all the testing and configuration that also involves.

Every week is different, and there are many new things to learn.

What are the challenges and opportunities for business systems professionals in the housing sector currently?

There's the challenge of keeping up with the ever-changing digital environment, with emerging technologies to learn about and understand, but it keeps the job interesting.

We don't stand still; we're always out to improve things, so there's always a new project around the corner, a new system to learn or a new technology to take advantage of.

Cyber security is also a high priority, so we must ensure everyone in the business plays their part. We all have a role in ensuring we maintain a high standard of security across our systems and infrastructure.

What are you looking forward to getting involved in as part of your future career?

I am looking forward to seeing how the housing sector embraces new technologies and how they open up opportunities for new ways of working and new avenues to grow the business as a whole.

What would you recommend about working for the Group?

Great people, great benefits and a sense of helping the local community. Even though I'm not in a direct customer-facing role, you can really see the impact that the work of the organisation has on people's lives and understand how what we do daily in business systems enables that.

What can someone expect from coming to work for the Group?

Diversity – whether that's from all the different elements of the Group, from the fundamentals of housing management to property development and construction, and the many additional support services we provide, to the many varied systems we use to enable that, or the variety and diversity of the colleagues we have. Every day there's a new opportunity to learn and grow.

What makes you most proud about working for Progress?

I am proud to have been with the Group so long, watching it grow, and, by virtue of that, having the opportunities open to me that have got me to my role now.

Famously Proud to be Progress

Our teams come from a variety of backgrounds bringing a wealth of knowledge, skills and experiences to the Group, and we've got one thing in common - we are immensely proud and passionate about changing lives.

Every day our team of almost 900 colleagues rise to the challenge of delivering high-quality homes and related services that make a real difference in our communities and to the people who live in them.

As one team, we work together and empower and support each other, to ensure we do everything we can to make a positive difference.

Thanks to Andy for sharing his career journey with us so far.

About the author

Progress Housing Group