The Internet is drastically changing the way that we do things and the way that we communicate and process information. It is estimated that approximately 60% of North American Internet traffic or use is coming from mobile devices. This is a huge percentage. No longer are the days of waiting until you are at a desktop computer to access the World Wide Web – it is now, literally, at our fingertips. So, what does this change mean for HSE professionals?
In order to be successful and keep up with the change in how we communicate, we need to employ technology in areas that were previously handled by people. Technology allows us to track, store and access information like never before. To add to that, we can now communicate that information in real-time over vast distances. Although to some the argument for a change to digital processes, some still object to the changing technology. Following are the top 3 objections to EHS software.
1. Budget is an Issue
One of the top objections cited by employers with regards to implementing a mobile solution to EHS is that they do not have the resources to make the change. The fact is, that this excuse is becoming less valid. New technology is no longer as exclusive as it used to be, and thus, the cost of software and mobile devices is going down.
The other side of this is that the investment that is required to outfit the company with a new program or piece of technology is returned in the boost in production initiated by the program or technology. Implementing technology means that there is less data entry happening, which means less money is being spent on data entry. Not only are you saving cost; you are also avoiding risk by an increase in the quality of data captured.
Manual data entry is time consuming, does not produce instant findings, and using this method, there is no option to take immediate, effective, and corrective action. Ultimately, if you cannot measure from paper, you cannot improve effectively using this method.
2. Security & Safety
Many organizations will cite security issues as a reason not to implement a mobile solution to EHS. While there are certain security risks involved when using a device that is connected to the Internet, there are options to use mobile devices that are connected to a closed network – think something like CCTV. This allows the information to be accessed by the individuals within the organization, while ensuring that the information is not leaked to those outside the company.
Related to security is safety. There are many industries in which the demand for intrinsically safe devices is rising. While the devices themselves might not yet be entirely intrinsically safe, accessories to make the device such are available. There are a variety of new accessories including cases that can make a device intrinsically safe. Furthermore, these devices and their accessories are being made at a more affordable price for consumers than in the past. It used to be that the newest technology was outrageously priced, but as the digital and technological revolution pushes forward, the devices are less expensive to make, thus the cost is reduced.
3. It is too complicated
The fact is that technology that is being introduced is designed with the user in mind. Gone are the days of spending months being trained how to use the new system. The demographics of the workplace are also changing, which adds to the ease with which technology is received. The digital revolution is unique in that there is certain ease with regards to change management. What this means is that the there is less concern with the technology itself – the new systems and technologies are more user friendly now more than ever before – the main concern now is simply change management. For more on how technology is changing the industry and how to manage the change, check out 5 Ways Technology is Changing the Health and Safety Industry. The fact is that technology is more broadly accepted, easier to use, and adds that added “cool factor” to the business using the latest technology.Multi-platform solutions are solving the compatibility problem as well. With a multi-platform solution, the operating system is no longer a concern for users, as it can be used with any system including iOS, Android, and Windows. What this means is that there is a wider variety of mobile technology for companies to choose from, which can reduce costs related to purchasing devices.