Staff Spotlight: James Davison

Another month has rattled by and that can only mean one thing – it’s time for another instalment of our new monthly Staff Spotlight feature created to give you the opportunity to get to know some of the folk here at Mobysoft HQ who keep the show on the road and enable us to bring the social housing sector the fantastic products and services it knows and loves. This month we caught up with Mobysoft CTO, James Davison; a man with a background in big tech and an even bigger vision for Mobysoft’s future product offering…

How did you come to work in social housing?

Coming out of an organisation that wasn’t a good cultural fit for me I went looking for a role that matched my desire to make a positive difference with a group of people that shared my values. I was lucky enough to find Mobysoft.

Describe yourself in three words:

Positive. Sociable. Team player.

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your past experience within the social housing sector?

I’ve worked in technology for 30 years starting out as a developer and working my way up to senior leadership. Pivotal roles in my career were:

  • Joining ThoughtWorks when the company was setting up in the UK and helping it grow to 150 people being at the heart of the beginning of the Agile development movement.
  • Running a team that helped launch the first iPhone in the UK
  • Spending 9 years at ITV delivering a technology transformation that took ITV from the edge of collapse to the highest share price ever seen in its history

Other than a brief period consulting to West Hampstead Housing Association very early in my career (way back in the 90s!), Mobysoft is my first foray into social housing.

What does your role at Mobysoft entail?

Leading the product, technology, and data departments delivering and maintaining all of Mobysoft’s services. Working out the direction our product and technology needs to take and making sure it works for our clients.

What is the most interesting part of your job?

Identifying new and exciting products or insights we can deliver to our customers to help them improve social housing tenant’s lives.

What are your biggest challenges at the moment?

It is always difficult to balance supply of development capacity vs demand for new product. This is always true in a SaaS business but it is always a challenge.

What’s most meaningful part of your job?

There are two parts: delivering a new service that makes a difference to tenants lives, and working with my teams to do the best job we can (whilst having fun doing it!).

How do you measure the success of the outcomes directly influenced via your role?

A combination of delivering and improving a stable service that year on year increases the NPS response from our customers and delivering solutions that improve the performance of our customers rent and repairs management.

What would you say are the biggest challenges faced by social landlords in the current climate?

The cost of living crisis and the similar crisis in repairs and maintenance related to damp and mould.

Working on anything interesting at the moment?

We have an exciting new set of insights coming to RentSense in the near future –  all built upon machine learning – that will add a new set of support to tenants.

How would you describe Mobysoft and what it does to the uninitiated?

Mobysoft is a group of talented, passionate, people working together to deliver tech for good into the housing sector.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one aspect of the social housing sector overnight, what would it be?

This is happening to some extent anyway but would like to see technology in the housing sector pulled forward around 10 years from where it is lagging behind other sectors.

What has been your proudest achievement at Mobysoft?

I haven’t been working in housing for long but bringing RepairSense to first full release is something I am particularly proud that my teams have achieved.

What are your other passions outside housing?

I love historic architecture and as a member of the national trust am always touring around Britain’s stately homes  or visiting beautiful historic towns and cities.

How do you unwind after work?

I love to cook, so despite every day being a long one I will always find time to put dinner together and it always helps me to relax.

What is your ideal holiday?

Our favourite holidays are intentionally random. We often fly somewhere, pick up a car and set off and see where we end up. It generally leads to unexpected locations and always results exciting holidays.

An interesting interview from an interesting guy, we think you’ll agree. If you enjoyed this feature then please do let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn and make sure you visit these very pages at the same time next month for Staff Spotlight where we’ll be putting the same (or thereabouts) questions to our strategic director, Julie Lorraine.

Dean Quinn
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