The faster an organization is able to respond to an incident, the more ability it will have to reduce the overall impact of the incident, mitigate any damages, capture valuable data, and ensure that people, systems, and services are safe to continue normal operations.
Your team should be able to focus on what matters most—investigating and resolving the incident—and not on the administrative and management tasks that go into facilitating the process. That’s where a digitized incident management process delivers.
1. Flexibility to Help Capture Data and Begin to Work Toward Resolution Faster
The moment an incident is reported, a clock starts. You only have so much time to capture key incident data and conduct an investigation. Whether the incident involves an injury to a team member or vehicle damage, there are regulatory guidelines that govern your liability and responsibilities—not to mention that witnesses are unlikely to have perfect memory of every detail that could influence the direction of an event.
A digitized incident management process makes capturing this data not only easier by making forms and submission data easy to record and upload, but also consistent with standards by flagging required fields and generating notifications to necessary parties.
In addition, with a cloud-based, digitized platform, your team has the ability to access the resources and incident information they need where, when, and how they need them, online or offline and regardless of platform. At the same time, employees and other parties involved in an incident can leverage self-service tools to submit internet-based forms, use mobile or email links, and send updates or additional feedback via SMS messages.
2. Ability to Turn Data and Information into Action
Although incidents do occur, there are actions organizations can take to limit the frequency at which they occur, the negative impacts they can have, and the liability the organization may be exposed to during the course of the resolution process.
However, without the necessary data readily available to make data-driven decisions, organizations are left to make subjective judgements about how to reduce their risk.
Fortunately, in addition to facilitating the process of collecting all the data needed to record the incident and automatically inform the right parties to follow up, a digitized incident management platform gives organizations the power to perform root cause analysis so appropriate corrective actions can be taken to reduce the chance of recurrence.
A digitized incident management process can also generate automated reports to key stakeholders, populate customized user dashboards to support process tracking, and automatically send notifications to users when information is updated or other triggers are met.
Ultimately, a digitized incident management process can help prevent key details and data from being lost in the cracks.
3. Improved Efficiency with an End-to-End, Comprehensive Solution
In a time when customers are used to doing everything from ordering a meal to shopping for household goods to performing complex investment transactions on their cellphones, they expect the same level of efficiency, responsiveness, and automation when it comes to dealing with something as important as the handling of an incident.
Having an end-to-end digitized process in place will not only meet this need, but it will also speed up and enhance the effectiveness of the back-end management of the incident itself.
For example, without a digitized process, organizations have to rely on either manual forms or customized electronic document templates that require manual processing, allow reporters to omit key information, and slow down the overall intake process. Organizations in this situation are at a disadvantage from the start, and they have to spend more resources and time confirming and re-recording data.
This clunky process is frustrating enough with just one incident type, and it can become unwieldy and inconsistent quickly when there are multiple in-process incidents or a range of incident types to handle.
By contrast, with a digitized process, every party involved in the incident can access an online form or submit details—no matter their location or the time of the report—via their chosen platform, including by email, text, or a web-based form. In addition, they will be prompted to enter the required information so key details are not missed.
Once the report is submitted, the digitized process can take advantage of automated routing rules to send forms to the correct point of contact while built-in logic can be used to initiate notifications and reminders for key parties to take action based on predefined parameters or filters. On top of that, all of the data, related documentation, and audit logs for each incident will be securely accessible and searchable, further increasing productivity.
An industry-leading digitization platform can even make this process modernization scalable not only for all of the various kinds of incidents an organization may handle but also for other key processes that underpin their business operations. In every case, the business process owners can design, build, manage, and refine the processes themselves, minimizing the need for the costly, time-intensive, developer-led digitization efforts that used to be the only option for businesses.
Because of this scalability, the benefits of standardization, automation, and enhanced productivity of process modernization can further spread through an organization and allow for more visibility and integration across business functions.
4. Ability to Deliver the Advanced Analytics You Need
When it comes to making key decisions and determinations, especially in regard to incident management, information is an asset—and the more of it you have, the better.
Without incident management processes designed for that live in the digital age, however, your organization can struggle to make the best decision with that information in a timely fashion. In many cases, data will have to be pulled manually or slowly from various systems before being compiled in yet another system and then further manipulated to create ad hoc reports and dashboards. And after all that, those reports and dashboards can lack the flexibility necessary to sort and cut the information to identify trends.
By contrast, a digitized incident management process empowers not only the efficient movement of the workflow through its key stages but also the review of the macro- and micro-level trends that are forming. More specifically, your organization can zoom in on a single incident to check its status or zoom out to monitor trends, program-level status, and key metrics and performance indicators that may signal the need for changes to a process.
For example, armed with this type of data, your organization can more easily answer questions like:
- What facilities are seeing the most incidents and of what kinds?
- Which employees, property types, or systems are the most affected?
- What is the typical type of injury or damage?
- Are incidents increasing over time or under specific conditions?
- How are trends in the frequency, types, and severity of incidents changing over time?
An industry-leading digitization platform can also offer features that automatically refresh key dashboards and reports and send them to stakeholders according to predefined schedules and distributions lists, helping to maintain visibility into the health of the overall incident management program.