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Mapping out your best emergency response when a crisis like COVID-19 strikes

April 23, 2020

by Marc Whalen, Vice President of Sales, Enterprise Incident Management at Qognify

Over the past month, it has become very clear that the impact of a Global pandemic was something most organizations and industries were unprepared to manage. That of course, is the very nature of emergencies. They often catch us unaware and unsure of how to respond. Depending on the scope of your organization and systems, it can be difficult to coordinate responses in real-time. The longer it takes to make and implement critical decisions, the higher the risk of disrupting business continuity. This especially applies to highly regulated environments, where even the slightest breach of policies or procedures can lead to the inefficient deployment of staff, costly disruptions to your operations and potential penalties.
With the dramatic and sudden reduction of on-site security, safety and operational staff at critical locations such as airports, mass transit, financial and critical infrastructure sites, the need to leverage technology becomes even more vital. Even with limited resources, organizations still need to monitor, validate and dispatch the proper personnel efficiently during real-time during incidents.
As global governments and organizations evaluate what will be required to reopen their economies, it is uncertain what will be required to bring employees and customers back to their facilities. However, what is becoming clear is this will require the implementation of new technologies, policies, procedures and anticipated regulations. This may also include the ability to monitor, track, respond, and report in real-time, to ensure the safety and security of employees and the general public. With so much change ahead, is your organization prepared for the next decisive moment?
With the right plans and systems in place, you can position your organization to leverage available personnel to respond efficiently and effectively during times of crisis and ensure the premium outcomes you need.
Here are a few questions you should be asking as you look to improve or put your incident management protocols:

  1. 1. Is your system providing you with a true incident view?

Connecting systems can provide you with situational awareness to allow you to see what and where something is happening. However, without proper logic and process rules, simply connecting all your systems will only lead to information overload. When an incident occurs, it is key to have a solid informational basis to assess its severity to decide the appropriate next step. The most effective systems will correlate the data from a large number of sensors and third-party data sources and help facilitate decisions. Utilizing an advanced logic and correlation engine will filter out the noise and bring forth only the relevant data, so you have the information you need to proceed with decisive pre-planned and coordinated actions.

  1. 2. Do you have the ability to guarantee an outcome with policies, procedures and regulations — every time?

A truly effective enterprise-wide incident management system will provide you with workflows that automatically adapt to the incident at hand. Deploying these workflows quickly allows your organization to successfully enforce procedures and also ensures compliance with regulations. Depending on the complexity of your policies you may need to develop an easily deployable or equally complex workflow that captures the incident data in the correct format. This sort of rapid adaptability results in faster response times, quicker incident resolution and more comprehensive reporting. These processes can make the difference in how quickly an incident escalates and its ultimate impact on the organization.

  1. 3. Can you avoid the next incident?

Unfortunately, we cannot completely avoid incidents or a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizations can become better at identifying the trends and leading indicators to get ahead and possibly minimize the impact. You can do this by leveraging a platform that collects and stores vast amounts of data, filters and performs historical analysis and creates the logical algorithms to identify the patterns leading to specific incidents. This kind of operational intelligence will help your organization to move from being completely reactive to a more proactive posture to improve safety, security and operations.

“A safe organization effectively resolves incidents but smart organizations avoid them.”
Marc Whalen, Vice President of Sales, Enterprise Incident Management