We hear many user stories and indeed funny jokes circling in social environment like Who drives Digital in your organization and to which many responds saying its COVID-19. I do not want to overemphasize on the need for going digital in current scenario. There are many reasons for going digital, of which immediate business need to go digital include Business Continuity. To remain competitive companies should not only adopt technologies rapidly but innovate fast. As clearly highlighted by Stephen J, Andriole and others in book titled The Innovator’s Imperative, gone are the days company endorsed requirements first and then technologies. Rather it is other way round companies first adopt technologies and do a pilot and then start introducing.
Some of such examples for current scenario include online communication, BYOD, collaboration tools. Now that the companies are needed to go digital, it also poses a great challenge in terms of piloting the technology assessing in terms of agility to meet to company requirements. Such dilemmas are briefed in many books on this topic, but in my current blog I am trying to highlight key Enablers for going digital in Environment, health and safety space and how you can achieve the same without much disruption to your organization procedures
For current scenario some of the requirements in EHS Space include i. Carrying out Monitoring plan ii. Implementation of risk assessments iii. Carrying out employee health surveillance programs iv. Change Management implementation vi. Communication programs and vii. Continued product safety stewardship. For majority of the companies, technology driven requirements are sufficient to sustain the current scenario, which gives results even though TCO & ROI cannot be immediately assessed. Some of the technologies which can be leveraged include Cloud, e-learning, big data, mobile technology, and internet of things.
To begin let me highlight the need to adopt cloud in the current context. Speed and agility are key to introduce new processes. Cloud makes this possible by helping achieve the velocity needed to manage current period. It no more a strategic question of whether cloud should be in the radar of the organization, rather it is a need in the current scenario. Various cloud solutions to manage employee health & exposure assessment or compliance management can be looked at from the perspective of adoption. Some of additional technological solutions can be around those tools offering rapid implementation tools to go live with standard out of the box solutions. As highlighted by Gartner few years back, companies need to work through bimodal approach for managing the IT landscape to implement innovative parallel digital solutions.
The next technology adoption in the current scenario is the use of Internet of Things enabled solutions to manage and share data & information, even predictions or correlations so that they can be used to decision making. Some of the cases studies around adoption of Internet of Things in current scenario for managing Environment, health and safety include remote health monitoring of assets and even employee health profiles. Some of the wearable devices or asset integrity approaches can be used to collect data and carry out analysis and even carrying out predictive maintenance and remote control of devices.
Besides cloud, IoT, the other major technological driver help in current scenario is rapid analytics which along with big data can be leveraged to derive insights of major environmental costs of COVID-19, environmental or health attributes analysis, health screening analysis within the industry and process understanding or even compliance analysis, besides organizational communications and training needs analysis relevant to EHS. Though machine learning and data science are advocated for use in the current scenario, they can be used to manage product safety stewardship process analysis for automating data extraction and analysis.
It has now quite common to see organizations using online chat bots to substitute humans for answering many customer care questions related to Stewardship questions. These online tools for use for chemical hazard communications, safety data sheet sharing and even answering routine chemical information communication both within and outside the organization.
Though the use cases of Robotic Process Automation for automating routine business processes is around for many years, its use can also be not ignored. It has potential to automating manual tasks which otherwise needs huge manpower. There are various processes within the organizations which take data from numerous sources and carry out data manipulation and prepare reports which are difficult to transport into a integrated solution. Such business scenarios can easily be put to automation to reduce reliance on reduced manpower.
As highlighted in some books that many fear digitalization and sensitive approach to data is critical for its adoption. Data privacy and data protection must always be top priority. The adoption of digitalization is helpful in reimagining business. The current scenario might seem to appear at first glance to be quite different from traditional business opportunity –fits quite well to company’s EHS business management. As highlighted in the book on Reinventing the business model by Mark W. Johnson, the chance to seize a piece of white space presents a tantalizing opportunity. Success can bring the transformational growth business leaders seek.
Below are some of the previous blog post on the topic