Mobile EHS solutions are leading the way

Written by Fredrik Löfberg

Recent studies show that enterprise mobile application adaption is growing fast (Citrix). This is good news to all people using IT-systems in their work. There are also statistics showing that people use Internet more with mobile devices than desktops. At the same time predictions shows that in year 2015 1,8 billion people in the world will have a smart phone. (Statista). Today there are already over 800 million users that log into Facebook daily with their mobile. These numbers show that there is a big change ongoing and the speed will increase. This will also have on an impact on Mobile EHS solutions.

According to (CDW) mobile applications will improve productivity by 41 % and free people to work anywhere as they do more and more work out of the office (Mobile Enteprise). So this indicates that mobility should be listed in the top requirements for all new application investments. And it should be on the top management's agenda to harness this technology opportunity for their competitive advantage.

Effects on Mobile EHS solutions

In our EHS (environment, health and safety) and quality application branch we see a very rapid change. Organization are moving to mobile applications and SaaS subscription models in the innovative leaders segment. We have had several customers that have moved from on-premises legacy systems to mobile EHS applications in just 3-4 months. And all users have adopted the new mobile EHS application really well because it has the same user experience and design approach as consumer applications. I’m sure that user experience and design are the key drivers from a technical point-of-view to enable this easy adaption. So the movement to mobile in EHS management systems can and will happen really fast.

There was a blog post (LNS Research) by Paul Leavoy LNS Research telling that a big group of companies hasn’t got any mobility plans for their EHS reporting. The number was 70,7% of all the responders. This number got me actually thinking why can this be so different from the enteprise application trends? Is the reason that companies feel that they can’t get any real business value from their EHS work. Or is it because companies only do the EHS work to meet the legislation requirements? There can be many reasons but still I feel that all we mobile EHS software professionals out there should really take a five and think about this. It means that we haven’t been able to prove any added business value to the decision makers and they feel that all investments in EHS mobility are just a big waste of money. That it doesn’t resolve any real-life problem. We should all take some time and consider how to sharpen our message. If other areas like human resources, sales management, work task and force management are going to mobile as fast as they can we can only blame ourselves for the poor mobility adaption in EHS management systems.

My five cents would be to stop using the “Safety first” phrase. Integrate safety as a part of the normal daily operative business and show that it’s a valuable part of any successful business and brand. We should be able to show that with mobile applications the safety work is more productive. That this change has a significant effect on the company’s profitability. A 5-10 % gain on the result line is a huge jump for any CEO. If this will not be seen as added value I don’t know what will.