Patrons in a coffee bar

If you’re anything like your typical consumer, you rarely go many minutes without checking a web-enabled device to manage your life — whether for work, play, or family life. Do you ever think about how to leverage your audience’s screen addiction (and the technologies that make that possible) to enhance your mass and emergency communications?

As it happens, IoT does just that, boosting the reach, speed, and cost-effectiveness of mass notifications. Short for “Internet of Things,” IoT refers to machines’ ability to “talk” with one another, their users and makers to eliminate waste (as in needless costs and manual processes) and make everyone’s lives easier.

IoT is a rich topic with deep implications for your operations and financial health, and we can’t possibly do it justice in a single blog post. So instead, we’ll focus on three IoT benefits driving change in our industry today.

Integration & Interoperability

Among the chief advantages of IoT is the integration and interoperability among systems that were once disconnected.

For one, managing disparate systems — say, fire systems, paging systems, digital signage, door and card access, telephones, security cameras and more — is a pain, burdening staff with multiple dashboards, duplicate tasks and limited reporting that lacks actionable, big-picture insights.

If technologies can’t work together and staff has to step into the gap to force them to work together, you’re dumping a lot of cash into duplicate resources and workload.

On the flip side, a simple software solution that enables your existing technology to “talk” with one another and allows staff to drive all that technology from a single dashboard can keep costs low by (a) extending the life and usefulness of existing equipment, and (b) allowing you to gradually add new capabilities to your arsenal (versus a high-dollar, upfront investment as you replace everything at once) without piling on to your staff’s workload.

Deeper Visibility Into User Behavior

If your equipment can better “talk” with one another, users and administrators, then it can tell you a lot more about its performance and outcomes. This means you’ll have much richer insight into what works, what doesn’t, and user behavior.

This deeper visibility means you can (a) pinpoint and eliminate waste and inefficiencies more easily, and (b) make decisions based on evidence — not hunches, personal opinions or biases.

Automation = Simplification

It should be obvious by now, but we’ll point it out anyway: IoT enables you to automate manual processes in an intelligent way, so the output is always relevant to the situation and to the person receiving the notification.

A crisis is the absolute worst time to draft messages to various audiences, juggle phone calls, social media posting and more — especially when risks to your audience, property or operations rise with every passing second.

The role of automation isn’t simply to reduce staff workload but to help you resolve and recover from any incident quickly, with as little harm or damage as possible.

What to look for in a mass notification system?

Ease of use, reliability, and interoperability — all items covered above — should all be considerations, reports SDM, a security-focused magazine. So is the ability to layer communications in various formats and vehicles, and the speed with which those communications can be activated and disseminated.

Which of the above elements are missing from your current mass and emergency communications solutions?

Similar Posts