In recent years, both environmental health and safety (EHS), and a technology trend called the Cloud, have become increasingly popular. Both arenas converge in what is commonly referred to as cloud based EHS software. For some, questions may persist – what is it exactly, why is it so significant, and why is software based on the cloud considered the new normal?
As for what cloud based EHS software is, it is simply software that can be accessed from any connected device, over the internet, using a browser. Being cloud based means that it does not have to be installed on a physical computer, and all updates and bug fixes are done online. This means that users are not tied to a single location, like a physical office space, to use the software, and the software can be managed from anywhere – a factor that has become essential, given the prevalence of remote working.
This is a departure from the old way software used to be deployed, where organisations typically had to pay a large lump sum to own the software or a certain number of licenses and then buy new versions or renew their licenses annually, as well as factor in the cost of hardware on which the software would be exclusively installed.
Answering the question why cloud based EHS software is so significant begins with the fact that it enables companies to collect and collate the myriad of data that exists in their organization, analyse it with technology, and glean value-adding insights. These can then be used to improve business efficiency as well as their financial success.
Furthermore, using cloud based EHS software addresses the trend towards companies adopting EHS training as part and parcel of their core processes. This is due to the pandemic, as well as the need for compliance with environmental health and safety regulations.
Being cloud based makes EHS software considerably more cost effective, as users only pay for what they need. More specifically, it means that organisations can pay a small monthly fee to access the software and pay for only what they need. Hardware costs, such as servers, are minimized if not eradicated entirely. As the business grows, they can easily expand their access according to their budget.
Furthermore, because all maintenance of the cloud based EHS software is managed remotely, this reduces the burden on dedicated IT staff, freeing them up to concentrate on other tasks, or reducing an organisation’s dependency on an IT department.
Another significant advantage of cloud based EHS software is that it can be deployed considerably more quickly than on premise solutions, with no interruptions to a business’s continuity. Like other cloud based software, such as Google Docs, all changes that users make are saved online, which means that users can pick up where they left off just by logging into the EHS system. This greatly obviates data loss than previously happened when a hard drive crashed or a file stored on one’s PC became corrupted, or a file is mistakenly deleted.
With Microsoft 365, Google Drive and Dropbox being widely used in small, medium and businesses alike, it is highly likely that your organization is already using and benefitting from other cloud based software. Therefore, it should come as little surprise that many EHS leaders are willing to embrace deploying a cloud based EHS software solution, since clearly, cloud based EHS software is demonstrating that it the most reliable, flexible, and affordable way to glean value from EHS data.