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How Managers Can Use the Internet of Things (IoT) in Crises and Emergencies

How Managers Can Use the Internet of Things (IoT) in Crises and Emergencies

You may not realize it, but the Internet of Things (IoT) has already revolutionized most industries. Whether it’s through smart buildings, power grids, assembly lines, or cybersecurity protocols, IoT is working to detect and notify critical events.

Crisis communication is no different than any other industry. IoT has removed the need for a lot of the guesswork in emergency scenarios. The impact of IoT can be felt in analytics, data storage, automation, and operations. Data now drives decisions and allows for better emergency preparedness.

Here’s how IoT is amplifying emergency response capabilities, and how you as a manager can use IoT to your advantage.

How is the Internet of Things Enabling Better Critical Event Responses?

When factories, hospitals, educational campuses, government buildings, or entire regions are at risk, IoT is an important component of safety and outcome management.

IoT Leverages Human Expertise

The term “IoT” may conjure up visions of robots and sensors, but it’s not just about technology. IoT platforms create better ways for humans to organize, communicate, and lead in critical moments. IoT allows for a partnership between humans and technology while minimizing wasted efforts and resources.

As our lives become more intertwined with technology, we must redefine the role of human intervention. Machines can make many decisions, but the most nuanced decisions are still made by humans with deep expertise.

Devices Are Quicker Than Humans

It can take a while for someone to notice when something goes wrong. A hospital administrator may not know a fire has broken out until the alarm sounds. A plant manufacturer may not know there’s been a chemical spill until he or she receives the call. On the other hand, a device programmed to detect abnormalities as soon as they occur will know immediately when something goes wrong.

IoT Can Orchestrate Widespread Responses

Complex technical processes can have more impactful, widespread consequences than manual processes alone. In a matter of seconds, a computer glitch can shut down an airport traffic control system or a manufacturing plant. The systems and sensors built into an IoT platform create a better chance for mitigating risk.

IoT Platforms Learn From Data

IoT systems don’t need to wait for a review meeting or a discussion to draw analyses. Devices with embedded intelligence analytics are designed to interpret data. Over time they become smarter and get better at relaying necessary information. For example, an automated factory supply chain will gather a steady stream of information and will assess which signals constitute a breakdown in operations.

How Managers Can Leverage IoT in Crises and Emergencies

For managers, leveraging IoT comes down to making better decisions. While machines are crunching numbers, manufacturing parts, and monitoring critical infrastructures, managers are spearheading the decision-making process.

IoT Helps Managers Notify a Community

Sensors at a petrochemical plant might indicate that critical operations are being disrupted during a hurricane. A manager would be responsible for kickstarting the communication process. He or she may reach out to employees, partner organizations, local residents, and even the media.

Managers Can Gain Instant Personnel Safety Status Through IoT

It would take significant time and resources for a team of emergency responders to send SMS messages to some employees, emails to others, and make phone calls to still others. Even then, a missed call or an unanswered email creates questions about who exactly has received a message. With IoT-enabled platforms like AtHoc Account, managers have instant visibility into real-time safety statuses.

Managers Can Use IoT to Get out of Their Silo

A manager usually has visibility into his or her own department. However, often managers can be prohibited from accessing phone numbers, names, locations, and process protocols from other departments. This information is often disparate. Organizations with a unified IoT solution can create faster response times by clearing up confusion and removing roadblocks to important information.

Manually tackling the challenges of crisis communications can lead to inefficient outcomes. Leveraging IoT in crisis communications means saving time, money, and plenty of confusion. To effectively implement a critical communications strategy through IoT, managers should plan to implement a unified strategy through a system like the AtHoc Suite.

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