Workplace Solutions Safety program management

Investing in safety software

How do I win over the IT department when investing in new safety software?


Responding is Hannah Stewart, communications manager, Pro-Sapien, Glasgow, Scotland.

Chances are, the information technology department will (and should) have a seat on the safety software-buying team. However, naturally, it may have different priorities. Therefore, to bring your IT colleagues onboard, you must learn to speak their language and appreciate their stakes. Ultimately, this will lead to safety software that has buy-in from all sides – setting you up for a successful project.

First, IT needs to understand why you need new safety software. This involves storytelling around problems and solutions, and will form part of the business case you present to the board.

Here, I’ll focus on what comes after: aligning with IT on a mutually preferred solution. Like navigating a ship, everyone on board needs to work together to ensure the vessel reaches its destination safely and efficiently.

At a very high level, when it comes to safety software, IT is looking to understand three things: security, integrations and required IT resource.

Let’s take a look at each of these areas.


Because safety software holds personal and sensitive data about employees, the priority for any IT team will be information security.

On this point, IT will be asking questions such as:

  • Where is our data hosted?
  • Is two-factor authentication available?
  • What security accreditations does the vendor have?
  • Can data be encrypted?
  • Are we in control of application permissions?

Later, you’ll capture these details in a technical requirements spreadsheet or supplier onboarding process – something to be conscious of when considering your timelines.

However, if you can establish high-level technical information early on with the vendor, you’ll be able to separate the wheat from the chaff more quickly and, in turn, earn “brownie points” with IT.


IT will want to understand how your short-listed safety applications integrate with existing company infrastructure.

Integrations save time and can immensely help with adoption and ongoing user engagement, so it’s worth considering what platforms you already use and where you can avoid duplicating effort.

For example, some safety software vendors specialize in applications built into well-known enterprise platforms. So, think about:

  • Where do employees go to retrieve documents?
  • Is there an online company “hub” with updates and announcements?
  • Where is the organization hierarchy and employee directory managed?
  • Where do executives view their corporate key performance indicators and dashboards?

Further, IT will be pleased to see the platforms that it has invested time into rolling out being used – and squeezed for all they’re worth!

Required IT resource

Another way to get IT comfortable is to learn how involved it needs to be.

Deploying any enterprise application is going to require IT resources. However, ideally, this will be minimized. IT colleagues are traditionally very busy, with tight schedules and many competing pulls. Therefore, you can show IT you’ve considered its time by asking the vendor questions such as:

  • What do you need from our IT team?
  • At which points in the project will IT help be required?
  • What’s the setup for ongoing software support?
  • Can we modify settings ourselves as business user admins?

Ultimately, the IT team is a valuable resource in safety software selection. The team holds lots of information about the inner workings of the organization that can massively influence what will work best, so it’s best to approach safety software selection as an aligned group.

With these tips, you’ll be able to show IT you understand the stakes it holds in safety software and appreciate the importance of security, integrations and internal resource – leading to more timely executive sign-off and a smooth project!

Editor's note: This article represents the independent views of the author and should not be considered a National Safety Council endorsement.

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