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Safety Management Insights

Get IT On Your Side: 10 Tech Questions To Ask About New Software

Posted by Don Brown on May 22, 2014 8:30:00 AM

IT_professionalLet’s face it: Most of us aren’t very FIT, or Fluent in Information Technology.

We know as much as we need to know to get our jobs done, and when our work gets stalled, we call the IT folks.

But until the moment our network connection is down as we’re trying to meet a deadline, we probably don’t pay much attention to them.

Think about it: When was the last time you asked your IT manager what he or she needed from you? Computer problems can derail your whole day, so it pays to have allies in the IT department. It could mean the difference between waiting four hours to have something fixed or getting your help ticket moved to the top of the stack.

Having IT on your side when you’re considering a new software system for your safety or HR department is especially important. A system that isn’t properly integrated with your existing infrastructure can set you up for years of frustration and time-consuming efforts to work around the glitches.

Too often, department managers approach IT staff as an afterthought when they’ve already decided what they want. That can force IT to make the software fit into something that’s less than ideal--the fastest way to get your help tickets sent to the recycle bin.

Make sure you talk with IT as you research your new system. Ask the staff what they need to ensure successful implementation.

If you want to show IT you’re doing your homework but you don’t speak networking, here are 10 questions to ask any new software provider:

  • What existing computer program do we need to run the software?
  • Where is the software hosted?
  • Are we able to host it on our own servers instead of the existing location?
  • Can it be integrated with or linked to the systems we already have?
  • How easily can we upload records?
  • What is the storage capacity?
  • Is there a limit on the size of individual files?
  • Is there a limit on the number of users who can access it at the same time?
  • Is there a limit to how many administrators can we have on the system?
  • Can we control the level of administrative permissions?
  • Can all our employees access the system?
  • Who do we call when something isn’t working?

The more information you can provide to your IT managers ahead of time, the more helpful they’re likely to be when it’s time to launch your new system. Show them the transition will be as painless as possible, and they won’t grumble so much at your next request.

BasicSafe’s staff are experts in operations, engineering and programming. Your job is challenging enough without technology hassles, so let us help tackle your IT challenges.

To get a better handle on other workplace challenges, download our free eBook, “9 Ways to Make Your Life As Safety Manager Easier.”

9 Ways to Make Your Job as a Safety Manager Easier