The Key to Successful Digital Transformation Within EHS

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Every year, thousands of organizations take steps toward digitizing their EHS programs. While the benefits of digital transformation are clear, the results are often inconsistent. After decades of helping organizations successfully transform their EHS processes and performance with technology, Cority has learned many things. However, there’s one immutable fact: having a clear vision and plan that guides your digitization efforts is key. 

In this blog, we’ll seek to answer common questions Cority receives when organizations are looking to begin their journey toward digital transformation. We’ll explore how leaders should view the scope of digital transformation and offer insights into overcoming challenges. Some topics discussed are:

  1. How our understanding of digital transformation has evolved and how that impacts designing and executing an EHS software implementation project. 
  2. The advantages and challenges of bringing a digital EHS solution to your organization. 
  3. The tools and techniques required to ensure successful digital transformation.
  4. Examples of how to leverage centralization, speed, and transparency in overall project management. 

What does it mean to digitize a project?

When we talk about digitizing, we essentially mean taking a manual process and automating it with software. This can mean any number of things and varies wildly between individual users, organizations, and industries. An example would be taking a paper-based incident management workflow and integrating software to follow the same process. However, paper workflows cannot notify all assigned individuals when various stages of the workflow have been completed, remind auditors to investigate with their Findings & Actions process, and upload all relevant data into analytics tools for trend analysis. 

There is a specific order all organizations must follow to achieve effective digital transformation. This starts with defining the goal of the project – which is not to ‘implement software’. The goal should be what the software is going to help your organization achieve. To establish your organization’s goals, start by asking which tasks need to be completed. From there, determine the process for which any individual will follow to complete that task. It’s important to remember that the best approach to a process may not necessarily be the way you’ve always done it. These ideal workflows and task completions will be your organization’s project goals. Digitization also provides opportunities to automate certain aspects of your workflow. This will save significant time and effort, however, organizations should consider what does and what does not need to be automated. Automations should not be added just because the option is available.

What are some reasons for digitizing?

There are many benefits to digital transformation, but a common benefit seen by Cority is the ability to connect workers to a single source of truth. While it might sound rudimentary, ensuring all workers have access to the information they need is extremely important. It saves time, makes performance easier, and puts actionable insights into the hands of each employee.  

Another common driver in these projects is the ability to integrate and streamline data collection. This includes pulling information from anywhere in the business and putting it in the hands of relevant stakeholders. This allows organizations to include all types of data to be analyzed and used for reports that enable better decision making. Additional business data may include employee information, contractor data, data sets on assets, work hours, and even data from external benchmarking reports. 

Another common consideration for digitizing is enhanced data security. Having sensitive information on pieces of paper laying around an office sets off a host of alarm bells. But, with digital solutions, organizations have the option to set permissions based on user-type, location, and more. Activity can be monitored to see who’s been working with particular data, and what they’ve been doing with it. Data can also be archived whenever appropriate to keep information up to date and free of clutter.  

Common Digital Transformation Challenges

It may sound strange, but many of the speedbumps faced by organizations during digital transformation comes from key stakeholders. This typically happens when leadership is not fully aligned with the project scope or objectives. It’s essential to accurately identify the relevant stakeholders within your business – from the C-suite to end users – who will be utilizing any of the digital tools within the project. Clearly communicating project goals and ensuring all impacted workers are involved in the implementation process is key to successful digital transformation, now and in the future.

Another common digital transformation challenge is project management. There are a lot of tasks that come with digitization and keeping the project under control can seem daunting. However, one way to help ensure objectives are being met is starting small. Wherever possible, try limiting the number of project goals by only focusing on what is essential. From there, organizations can continue to incorporate new goals once core objectives are met. Creating a robust project and sustainment plan will help ensure your organization stays on track and doesn’t lose focus. 

Want to learn more? Check out our on-demand webinar, How To Cultivate A Successful EHS Software Implementation

The Power of Digital Transformation

The power of digital transformation cannot be understated. It allows organizations to connect workers and ensure they have all the information needed, wherever and whenever. Organizations can consolidate data into one place for a single source of truth and integrate with other data sources for more streamlined workflows and data integrity. Furthermore, digitization enhances reporting and data management so organizations can more easily benchmark with peers within their industry, learn, and, improve. 

In our recent webinar, Digital Transformation – Taking Advantage of Centralization, Speed, and Transparency, Carrie Young, VP of Strategic Solutions at Cority reviewed the tools and techniques required to ensure successful digital transformation. This included examples of how to leverage centralization, speed, and transparency within overall project management for Incident Management workflows.

To learn more about digital transformation and how your organization can successfully digitize workflows and data, check out our webinar and contact us today!