In today’s modern and fast-paced world, information technology (IT) is an integral cog in the wheel for successful companies. From dealing with employee questions and communication to storing and transmitting information, IT departments are tirelessly working in the background so people can perform tasks on a daily basis.
Technology improves efficiency and employee engagement, and helps companies expand and increase capacity. And all the while, it helps save time and effort and enhances company security.
For Avenue Living and its diverse group of companies, having a strong and complementary IT department in its arsenal is just one way we keep pace in an ever-changing and evolving world. Speaking with Nathan McAuley, VP, Information Technology/Information Systems, he expressed the importance of the IT department, how they help us function, how their team has grown and evolved throughout the years, and how they have managed themselves throughout the pandemic.
“To me, it’s small incremental steps in the right direction towards getting better every day.” Nathan has been with Avenue Living since 2019, watching the team consistently expand. “We’ve seen immense growth in a number of ways, from adding people (six when Nathan started to 13 present day) to managing projects, business analysis, and analytics” he said, adding that the amount of tech projects the team is undertaking has ratcheted up. The Avenue Living team has rapidly grown over the last serval years, adding to the intensity and heightened need of a strong IT department.
Technology plays an important role in all of our departments. Effective execution of new technologies has become more critical as we continue to expand. To ensure our ongoing success, the IT department continually has taken the necessary steps to be able to better serve our internal and external stakeholders.
IT has been there supporting our expansion, like when we founded two new Trusts, Mini Mall Storage Properties, and the U.S. Real Estate Trust, as well as other venture partnerships.
Nathan likens the IT department to enablers — they enable across multiple functions, and their goal is to get the person back up on their feet as quickly as possible, and to help them to do their job and not worry about technology. “We’re enabling the business to be better, more efficient, increase revenue, and do something through technology that they haven’t done before.”
Having a mind and eye on expertise in technology is a major focus for the department. They seek to understand what’s out there and what’s coming in terms of technology and how it can better the business or how it can be implemented. Expertise is a big piece of continual learning.
“If you’re in IT, you’re going to be learning new things that are going to challenge your assumptions, every single day, because what you said yesterday will probably be out of date already. You have to continue to challenge yourself and try to gain as much expertise as possible,” Nathan said.
Keeping pace with a rapidly evolving industry and sector is a challenge that Nathan and the IT department embrace through one word: curiosity.
“Being curious and understanding things at a detailed level helps you learn things that you don’t know and find out if things have changed. Curiosity at the foundational level in our team is something we want everybody to have.”
IT plays a key role in Avenue Living’s day-to-day functioning, and from a technology standpoint, is important to our successes and processes. IT has the experience and wherewithal to help support the business and what we want to do. They’re problem solvers.
Serving Avenue Living’s diverse needs requires an IT department that approaches things from a point of understanding and being agile on their feet, and adapting to unique and changing circumstances. Whether someone is having an issue with their laptop or tablet or an application issue, the IT department plays a large role as customer service and closely working with people.
“It’s our job to come in every day and be everybody’s comfort blanket,” Nathan said.
Acting as technology experts, IT has also been integral in working with Scrum, which is an agile framework that helps people and teams solve complex adaptive problems, while delivering products of the highest value.
With a focus on data and its tangible uses for Avenue Living, the IT department recognizes how it can be an asset across the board. Honing business intelligence and analytics to help predict the future helps us make strategic decisions, allocate resources, or change the way we look at things.
This commentary and the information contained herein are for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities or related financial instruments. This article may contain forward-looking statements. Readers should refer to information contained on our website at www.avenuelivingam.com for additional information regarding forward-looking statements and certain risks associated with them.