EHSDA Shorts: Choosing Technology for Your Workplace

On this week’s episode of EHSDA Shorts, we hear from Jennifer Hsu, MPH, CSP, a senior leader in EHS, about how to know if a new product or technology is a good fit for your business. Tune in to hear her insights.

Transcript (edited for clarity):

Question: How do you determine whether a product or new technology is the right fit for your business?

Hsu: The right fit, it’s a little bit, quote unquote, what fits me in my particular organization? That will really take a little bit more of a soul search, do you understand what the business needs?

You know, is it something that is easily integrated with other technology that’s currently existing, or is it going to be just inserted and then have to stand alone, and then everything will be a manual input.

Trying for me, like trying to find that right fit, is really going to really focus on being a blend of the two. Can it talk to other technology? Can it import an Excel spreadsheet? Can it export an Excel spreadsheet so then I can play with it, right? You want to be able to input data, maybe all in one shot, and of course, output a report that you can play with and create charts with.

So that way when you’re making your presentations to leadership, then you’re not doing a lot of manual entry or input. Making sure that it does work with some other systems at your company, whether they have SAP or other HR systems like Workday, or something that can really easily import other data sets so it can be more usable, is important.

The second item is making sure that there’s some sort of training that’s out there, because if you purchase the system and you don’t know how to use it, every company that’s out there will say we have the right product for you, it’s so configurable, you just need to do XYZ and then you’ll be able to kind of start right up, but that’s just not always the case. There are sometimes some technologically shy folks, [and] they don’t really like change.

They’re afraid of the technology. They’re afraid that they’re going to all of a sudden delete something, or they don’t really have the time or the patience to sit down in front of a computer and do all the data entry, because any of those items might cause pushback in actual usage of that technology.

So, it’s kind of important to really understand, what is your business looking for? How can you integrate it, and how easy is it going to be to use, hopefully with proper training. So that way you can move on.