It’s no secret that software implementations can be a huge drag on IT resources. Implementing a new software system — whether it’s a new communication tool, a payroll program, or EHS software — has the potential to disrupt normal IT operations and tie up your team for weeks or months.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. By following a few simple tips, you can drastically minimize the IT impact of an EHS software implementation.
Choose a standardized system
The key to a smooth EHS software implementation starts with choosing the right software system.
EHS software comes in two basic flavors: standardized or customized. With a customized system, the software is built or adjusted to your specifications through custom coding. A standardized system, on the other hand, can be configured to your needs without changing the underlying code.
We’ve addressed the great debate over EHS software configuration vs. customization before, but the gist is this: While a customized EHS software system might seem appealing at first blush, companies tend to regret the substantial amount of time and resources it requires.
Because it doesn’t require any special design or coding, choosing a standardized system minimizes the impact on your IT team — who are already buried under support tickets, lost password requests, bugs and security issues.
Roll out the software in phases
Another way to minimize the impact of an EHS software implementation is to roll out the new system gradually.
Trying to implement a new EHS software system all at once is like taking a drink from a fire hose — the sheer volume of work can leave your IT team (and users) all wet.
Instead of introducing a brand new EHS software system all at once, consider implementing the new software in stages. For example, you might start with just task and document management. Once that’s up to speed, you can add on additional functionality such as mobile inspections or environmental data management.
This approach allows you to control the flow of new information so that your IT team doesn’t end up overwhelmed. It also makes the process much easier on individual users, since they don’t have to adjust to a brand new way of working overnight.
Look for an EHS software system that is organized into modules that can be rolled out individually. Not only will this approach make life easier for your IT team, it’ll also reduce the burden on your users and your budget.
Consider the cloud
Choosing a cloud-based EHS software also lessens the demands on your IT team. In fact, 50% of organizations reported that using the cloud requires fewer internal IT resources. To understand why, you first need to know how cloud software works.
The main difference between the cloud and traditional software is how it’s accessed. Instead of having to install the software to each desktop individually, cloud software can be accessed through a web browser like Google Chrome or Foxfire. (You’re already familiar with the cloud if you use Dropbox, Gmail, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom.) For a team of 50 users, not having to install the software on each person’s computer saves your IT team a tremendous amount of time and effort.
But the benefits don’t stop here. When you choose cloud-based EHS software, you won’t have to purchase, install, or maintain new hardware and infrastructure to run the system — which eliminates a whole host of IT headaches. And, since updates and security patches can be deployed automatically, your IT team can say goodbye to time-consuming manual updates.
Take advantage of remote implementation
In the past, implementing a new software system required the vendor’s team to come on site to get things up and running. As you can imagine, having an outside team hanging around your office for weeks on end can be a major disturbance for IT teams. And during the current pandemic, it’s downright impossible.
Luckily, the days of needing to go on-site to implement software are gone. Advances in technology have made it possible for even complex business systems like ERP, accounting, or EHS software to be implemented from afar, without someone from the vendor’s team needing to come to your office. That’s especially beneficial if you have a remote or globally distributed workforce.
By leveraging the cloud, users can access the system from anywhere with an internet connection. Web demos, virtual training, and email support are all ways to support a successful remote implementation.
Real-world example: Denbury Resources
Now, let’s look at a real-world example from one of our customers.
Denbury Resources is a domestic oil and natural gas company in Plano, Texas. They needed an EHS management solution that would be simple, easy to use, and minimize the burden on their IT team. Crucially, the new system needed to be “shovel ready,” as Denbury didn’t have the time or budget to customize a system from scratch.
After reviewing several vendors, Denbury Resources selected Perillon for its ability to deliver a comprehensive, affordable environmental and safety solution.
Perillon’s modular design proved to be a highly efficient solution for Denbury. By defining a rollout plan with a phased implementation, Perillon was easily deployed to the entire HSE staff of 35 people with virtually no impact on Denbury’s IT resources.
As a result of implementing the system, the company’s core HSE team members have freed up 50% of their time.
To read the full Denbury success story, click here.
Next, read about 5 things to look for in an implementation program.