Is a Mobile Solution Right For Your Crisis Management Plan?
If you are wondering whether a mobile solution would be right for your crisis management plan, start with a look at how much business life has changed in recent years. Then ask whether your organization is keeping up or lagging behind when it comes to crisis planning.
In the past, it was sufficient to add crisis plans and emergency instructions to company intranets or send by email. That was a huge improvement over handing executives in the company a binder with the plans.
But now we are well into the twenty-first century, and the whole concept of crisis management has evolved. Beyond planning for fires, floods, and strikes, organizations must prepare to cope with workplace violence, terrorist attacks, epidemics, data loss, data breaches, reputation damage, and a host of other possibilities that were not even thought about twenty or thirty years ago. Some of these crises will occur with no warning, and reach catastrophic levels in minutes or hours.
That means there are many more types of crisis management plans and they are likely to be more complicated. Adding to the challenge—many organizations now include virtual teams, telecommuting, job-sharing, and distributed worksites, so employees are not necessarily concentrated in one location. When people can work anytime, anywhere using mobile platforms, emergency information stored back at their desks may not be much help.
Another change: It is no longer just big corporations that need crisis plans. Retail operations, schools and universities, hospitals, and a variety of other organizations must be prepared to manage emergency situations and cope with the aftermath of crisis.
As a result of all this transformation, crisis management tools have to work faster and reach further than ever before. And for twenty-first century problems, you need twenty-first century solutions. One major component of an up-to-date approach is mobile crisis management.
Consider these five mobile advantages, and decide whether they could improve your business’s approach to crisis management.
- Everyone, all at once. The necessary stakeholders of the crisis team need to be instantly notified and aware of the plan of action. A mobile solution ensures that crisis instructions are not distributed by email or worse old-fashioned “trickle down” or “telephone tree” methods. If distribution depends on one person telling another (even by email), response will be slow and uneven—some people may get information right away, but others will be much further down the communication chain. This problem exponentially worsens organizations working across multiple time zones.
- Push rather than pull. A mobile solution allows your company to push crisis communications out to employees and stakeholders, rather than depending on them to look up information or ask for instructions. If time is an important factor in your crisis management plan, mobile can make a crucial difference.
- Customization and control. You don’t want to deliver the same message and instructions to the CEO that are sent to the entire workforce. A mobile solution can make it easy to create just the right user interfaces for your organization, taking advantage of built-in templates and icons. With a robust, full-featured mobile solution you can also determine exactly who sees what information, and set up controls with minimum effort. By comparison--consider how much time and trouble would go into setting up customized crisis communications on paper or on a conventional network.
- Always up to date. A mobile solution makes it easy to disseminate changes and updates across all communications and all users, ensuring that everyone has the most recent information and sees exactly the same thing. In normal times, a good mobile solution will save a lot of the time and money required to update conventional paper or PC-based materials. And in a crisis, you can send users new information whenever conditions change.
- Anytime, anywhere. A mobile solution will enable your employees and stakeholders to get critical alerts right away—and that means they can start acting immediately. If a crisis occurs in the middle of the night, your team will know exactly what to do and be able to start damage control before they even leave home!
Mobile devices are rapidly becoming vital to business operations, as well as everyday life--and considering the excellent value provided by mobile solutions, every company should at least evaluate their potential contribution to successful crisis management.
Has your organization already thought about mobile solutions? If not, is it time to take a look?
Watch our In Case of Crisis video and see how leveraging a mobile solution with all of our features can improve your crisis communications.