There’s no question that now more than ever, an emphasis is being placed on EHSQ management regardless of industry or organization size. Because of this, EHSQ programs have become more comprehensive, and companies are investing more into programs, staffing, and software solutions.
As these programs ascend in importance, the software that supports them has become mission critical. Organizations will no longer tolerate IT project delays, cost overruns, or outright failure. Nor will they tolerate poor customer support and unreliable operations. The importance of highly reliable project delivery and operational stability are quickly rising to the top of customer requirements. It is increasingly recognized that value cannot be derived from a software solution or management system if it does not go into production in a reasonable and predicable timeframe, if users do not adopt the system, or if it fails to generate a tangible ROI. This can only be enabled through successful delivery on requirements, world-class ongoing support, and ‘dial tone’-grade operations. There will be a ‘culling of the EHSQ herd’ based on this evolution.
So how are organizations adapting to “mission critical EHSQ”?
There are several ways that organizations are working to increase their focus on EHSQ programs:
- Integrated EHSQ
- Companies are standardizing processes across geographies, disciplines, supply chains, and more. They are also moving from a siloed approach where the environmental, health, safety, and quality teams are working separately to an integrated approach where EHS&Q work together with more open communication.
- Connected EHSQ
- Today’s business demands EHSQ software platforms that are available on any device for every user. Organizations are not willing to tolerate limitations on functionality or workflows, nor are they willing to use a solution that requires the download of native app or is only available on certain devices. Having a connected solution allows EHSQ professionals to better monitor employees with greater consistency and clarity.
- Predictive EHSQ
- The amount of data pulled in from wearable devices will enable exciting developments in predictive analytics. Within five years, the types of machine learning algorithms that we experience in everyday life (Netflix suggestions, Google’s predictive search, etc.) will have a decided impact on EHSQ. This will enable companies to benchmark themselves against peer group comparators, see correlations in their data that they may have not been aware of, and receive predictive and prescriptive insights to improve their EHSQ programs.
- Demographic EHSQ
- Changing demographics and fast technological production changes will continue resulting in the introduction of new and changing EHSQ hazards. Aging workforces in developed countries will require new health and safety approaches. Millennial workers expect and demand a different relationship with their employers from the structure of their contracts through to the use of technology in the workplace. These challenges will drive a greater need for employee engagement in EHSQ programs, including more use of individual wearable sensors and health monitors.
- Secure EHSQ
- The next five years will see the threat to data security grow. As financial services and personal identity data become more secure, criminals will increasingly target other valuable data, such as EHSQ data. As more data is stored and shared, more sophisticated requirements for data security and data privacy will arise.