An intelligently integrated command and control solution can be programmed to look for key events and then send alerts to operators. Working with data captured in real time, the system can also be programmed to associate the specific threats detected with reaction protocols.

On making these connections, on-screen instructions are generated to guide operators through the most appropriate next steps for any given situation. These are called workflows.

Here are three ways in which they can help improve your operations.

1. Make the right decision in a critical situation

Workflows are perfect for handling emergency scenarios. This is because they enable informed decision-making in line with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). They eliminate the risk of panic or subjectivity affecting response in high-pressure situations.

Because a workflow responds to both evolving data detected, and in relation to prompted operator input, it is also able to adapt to the very latest information available. Meaning guidance given is always based on fact.

Workflows can also trigger a ‘shared incident management’ protocol. This means that if multiple events require attention/investigation, different operators can be assigned responsibility to ensure significant issues are dealt with simultaneously.

Scenario: In a casino, a ‘weapon identified’ alert could trigger a workflow which immediately breaks up tasks in terms of tracking the individual, liaising with local authorities and safely evacuating members of the public.

2. Manage everyday tasks more efficiently

Workflows aren’t just beneficial for emergency situations. When used in a workforce management context, they can also be very useful for driving everyday operational efficiency.

They may still be triggered by an event, for example, if a sensor has detected equipment failure, but they can also be used to manage planned tasks – from security patrols to maintenance schedules.

In either case, the workflow updates teams and individuals with their specific tasks. As the worker finishes each assignment, they simply press a button on their phone screen and a completion log is sent to the system, which in turn sends the worker the next set of tasks to complete in the workflow.

Scenario: At an oil and gas facility, workflows could be used to manage remote maintenance workers checking areas of the pipeline. Data fed back as part of the workflow process is then recorded within the management platform, to review post-event and help inform future preventative maintenance activity.

3. Automate specific responses

Just because workflows can be lengthy doesn’t mean they always are. In fact, on detecting certain threats, a workflow may trigger a simple, immediate, and automated action.

This could be a pre-recorded evacuation announcement if smoke or fire is detected, automatic door locking to seal of a specific area, instructions to a maintenance crew if a clear operations or equipment fault is detected, or a notification to local emergency services in the event of pre-programmed security breach criteria is met.

For sectors interacting with the general public, this functionality can also be useful for automating processes more linked to ‘good service’. Increasingly, for example, workflows can be used to automate information updates, including (where apps are utilised) to people’s personal devices.

Scenario: At a busy train station, workflows could be used to manage passenger communications when a busy commuter train is delayed, automating platform change and time updates, while also supporting the dispatch of staff to help manage overcrowding caused by the delay.