Workforce Management Software Disaster: 7 Tips For the CIO

Posted by David Alazraki

Wed, Oct 30, 2013

disaster strategy field service workforce management softwareSo you’ve followed all the advice that suggests you move your business out of the stone age and into the mobile age. You’ve adopted workforce management software that optimizes and automates management responsibilities and you’ve bolstered communication through mobile device use. When suddenly, the worst possible thing has happened. Your mobile workforce management software has taken a dive. Have you prepared your business for a 30-year storm scenario?

With the proper safeguards in place, a mobile workforce management software crash doesn’t have to turn into a complete calamity. Make sure you have an effective workforce manegement software strategy in place that can cope with unexpected disasters.

Here are 7 survival tips for CIO’s to follow in the event of a software failure.

  1. Define and understand what data and systems are essential to your business’s operation. Once you can identify the critical components that power your company, store them in a remote backup solution that can be accessed in the event of a software crash. When preparing for your business’s worst-case scenario, redundancy is key. If your most important information exists in more than one location, you’ll be better able to survive even the most epic downfall.

  1. Create a business continuity game plan. Who is in charge if workforce management software fails? What should their first line of defense be? CIO’s should put someone in charge that can combat high stress situations with clarity and leadership. Once that person takes charge, the next step should be to identify viable communication options for notifying staff, sending and receiving information in real time, delivering updates as changes occur and connecting the necessary employees with peers, vendors, IT and customers.

  1. Know who to call and have their contact information readily available. In today’s market, even a short amount of time disconnected from essential business functionality can cause serious harm to your business. In the event of a workforce management software glitch, make sure your disaster plan leader understands and has access to IT and software support personnel so that they can be made immediately aware of a system malfunction.

  1. Create and understand a tiered workforce. Not every employee is equally valuable to the operational integrity of your business. And when dealing with a software crash that involves hundreds or even thousands of employees, it’s nearly impossible for every employee to gain power and access back at the same time. For this reason, businesses need to know which employees are the lifeblood of their company.

    • Tier 1 employees deliver immediate value. Consider this caliber of employee your IT department or any other employee/department critical to getting your business up and running again.
    • Tier 2 employees are those most essential to the business aspect of your company. These are the revenue producers like sales and field service staff.
    • Tier 3 employees are the supporting players of your business like accounting and marketing. Their inactivity does not pose an immediate threat to the integrity of the business.

Once you’ve determined your tiered workforce, you can better manage which users need to be back up and running first.

  1. Practice makes perfect. Know what elements of your business will be affected if workforce management software goes down and test your backup plan. Routinely run trials with your backup solutions to make sure that you understand how they work and ensure they are working properly. You don’t want to hit the learning curve amidst the chaos of a software crash.  

  1. Have a data restoration plan in place. Invest in data backup software and monitor it daily to confirm that it performs the necessary safeguarding of your company data. Test the data restoration feature of this software periodically to make sure the information being backed up is retrievable. You don’t want to wait until a software crash before finding out that some pertinent update has disabled data backup and your ability to recover the information.

  1. Invest wisely. Perhaps the greatest piece of advice a CIO can use is to purchase workforce management software from an industry leader. With workforce management software, you get what you pay for. By selecting from a reputable provider, you’re choosing to invest in a solution that has survived the many pitfalls that technology can pose. You’re acquiring a solution that has been properly tested to handle every type of workforce environment and you’ll have a support team that knows every in and out of the software for faster troubleshooting in the event of a malfunction. If your worst-case scenario decides to rear its ugly head, do you want Joe’s software shack on your team or a refined and professional team of software experts?

Your disaster plan starts with knowing and understanding every component of your business and how your workforce management software influences it. Put someone in charge and make sure they have essential contact information at hand. Initially focus on the sectors of your business most critical to operation and test information recovery methods before it’s absolutely critical to do so. Lastly, be sure the workforce management software you put in place is of superior quality.

Image Credit: AGrinberg

Tags: Field service management software, Field Service Management for Enterprise