7 Tips for Choosing the Right Incident Management Software

Your organisation is running like clockwork, you’re on track to reach your goals, and everything appears to be operating smoothly.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, the answer to that question is anything.

Incidents involving your organisation can occur at any time, regardless of your whereabouts. It's vital then to be prepared for all possible situations, in order to minimise loss of profits, operations, and reputation. 

How prepared are you to handle an incident? Take our Incident Preparedness Test  in just 3 minutes.

That’s where incident management software can come to the rescue. Choosing the right crisis management solution for your organisation can mean the difference between an incident being resolved swiftly and that incident turning into a full-on crisis.

Here are a handful of tips to help you find the right solution for your business.

 1. Flexibility is Key 

Having an crisis management plan in place is essential for any business – a defined course of action allows you to act quickly and efficiently when an incident strikes. However, it's imperative that your plans stay flexible. Great incident management software will give you the ability to create and update emergency plans on the fly, allowing you to stay nimble and adapt your response as an incident evolves.

 2. Clear Communication When You Need It Most

When an crisis occurs, effective communication with your team members can make or break your chances of successfully resolving the situation.  When researching potential incident management software for your company, ensure that it includes a comprehensive set of communication tools. Whether you’re communicating by email or voice, sending alerts via SMS, or sharing locations during a geographically sensitive emergency, when disaster strikes you’ll need communication tools that you can rely on.

 3. Timing Is Everything

Keeping up to date with every action taken along the road to resolving an incident can be a challenge. Effective incident management software, however, will offer you a full chronological log of actions taken. This will give you a firm understanding of every step taken, letting you focus on which steps to take next.

 4. Take Control in Real-Time

Emergency situations change and develop in real-time, so why shouldn’t your response? Competent software will enable you to build a situational picture of an incident as it happens. Whether that be through the use of visual incident maps or situation plots, to-the-minute data visualisation will empower you to take control of the crisis.   

 Read more: Crisis Management: How to gain control quickly

5. Manage Perceptions 

As PR legend Bob Leaf once said, “What one’s perception is towards an organisation, a person, just anything, is what his reality is.” When your organisation encounters a crisis, managing your response to it – and thereby the public's perception of your company – is critical. The best incident management software will offer you robust media enquiry and press release tools, allowing you to log interactions with the press in a way that is transparent for you, the public, and your stakeholders. 

 6. Anywhere, Anytime, Anyhow

Disaster strikes when you least expect it. Chances are you won’t be in the office, or near a computer, when it happens. It’s crucial then that your incident management software allows you access anywhere, anytime, and from any internet connected device. In a constantly connected world, mobile accessibility is a must.

 7. Use the Past to Prepare for the Future

An crisis has been dealt with. Thanks to you and your team’s preparation and cool-headedness you can finally breathe easy. But how can you avoid similar incidents happening again in the future? Worthy incident management software will offer the function to generate comprehensive post-crisis reviews and reports, so you can assess what worked well and where you can improve next time.    

 Final Thoughts

In today's fast-paced world, being unprepared for an emergency is not an option – having a comprehensive crisis management system in place is more vital than ever. It can be hard to choose the right incident management solution for your organisation, but following these 7 tips is a great place to start.

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By Andrew Carvell

Andy is the Managing Director of One Voice’s international business, based in London and has worked with incident and crisis management solutions since 2010. He has a particular focus on the aviation and energy sectors and works closely with One Voice’s partner Control Risks to broaden the service offering of both parties. Andy has a degree in law from the University of Nottingham and outside of work, enjoys rugby, golf and outdoor pursuits.

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