The way we work has changed. From email to Zoom meetings to working from home, the business world is moving online — and that includes EHS.
Today, more and more organizations are migrating their data and activities to the cloud. Everyone from small manufacturing companies all the way up to multinational oil and gas operations are taking advantage of the benefits cloud has to offer.
Moving your EHS management process to the cloud can help facilitate information sharing and productivity. Without the hassle of having to commute to a physical office, you’re free to work wherever you want — a boon in the time of COVID-19. All your contracts, permits, operational agreements, and other documents are accessible through a web browser. You can share data without the headache of email, as well as manage your entire team’s tasks in a centralized calendar. The cloud also offers numerous benefits when it comes to data security, disaster recovery and backup. Not having to pay for hardware or provide your own tech support will greatly reduce your costs and minimize the burden on your IT team.
Of course, transitioning to a virtual office is not without its own set of challenges. Switching to the cloud means learning a new way of working, so understandably employees may push back when a new online system is introduced. But oftentimes, the reasons for resistance can be easily managed or avoided with an effective change management strategy. That means soliciting input and feedback from employees who will use the system. Communicating the change effectively. Providing support and training each step of the way. In the end, introducing a modern online EHS management process will be a big win for your company.
Choosing the right cloud provider is key. Look for a vendor who can solve your problem the easiest and at the lowest cost — not the one with the slickest demo.
The best way to do this is by carefully documenting your requirements. Once you understand the problems you’re trying to solve, it’ll be much easier to evaluate which system is right for your needs. Be sure to think about your needs now, as well as a year or even five years from now.
From there, you can request an initial “overview” demo. It’s a low-commitment way to see how the software could solve your problems and help you be more successful. Perhaps even more importantly, it’s an opportunity to get to know the vendor’s team and assess how well you’ll work together.
Another way to make moving from spreadsheets to the cloud easier is to start small. Consider migrating just one aspect of your EHS management process, such as task and document management, at a time. This makes life easier for your EHS team, so you can transition your processes online without overwhelming anyone.
Once your team feels comfortable working in the cloud, you can start moving more of your work over. And, with the experience gained from the first round of implementation, this will become easier over time.
Preparing for EHS’s virtual future
While some people believe that the shift toward remote work is only temporary, the reality is that many employees are unlikely to return to the office even after things go “back to normal”. By investing in a cloud-based EHS software system and moving your EHS processes online, you’ll be in a better position to achieve successful results in the future.