Crisis management at your fingertips

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The digital crisis management Talon App. Photo: Supplied

SOFTWARE developers have found a new niche, helping businesses navigate the modern world of cyber attacks, terror attacks and natural disasters.

Digital crisis management, which can be used on mobile devices without an internet connection, is changing the way Southland businesses and organisations respond in a crisis.

PowerNet is one of the latest Southland-based companies switching to a digital rather than a paper crisis management plan.

PowerNet has been using Talon, a crisis management app recently developed by New Zealand’s Wellington-based Kestrel Group.

Other New Zealand-made crisis management software such as Solity has already been used in the region (by organisations such as Maritime New Zealand), and the Red Cross’ free Hazard App has been available nationwide since 2015.

Kestrel Group director Karen Stephens said as well as natural disasters, businesses and organisations could face other kinds of crises such as cyber-security attacks and major product recalls.

Ms Stephens said many businesses were familiar with paper-based crisis management plans but when a crisis hit “the plans either aren’t handy or get pushed to one side”.

“We know people always have their phones or other mobile devices with them and we wanted to develop something that was practical, easy to use and handy,” she said.

PowerNet compliance and risk adviser Tania Cribb said previously the PowerNet team had to have a copy of the paper plans in the car, in the office and at home.

“It just doesn’t work like that in real life. Now it doesn’t matter where our crisis management team is, [team members] always have their plans with them. They may not have access to their computer, but they will have their phone and tablet,” she said.

Solity founder and chief executive Israel Reyes, who founded and grew the company in Wellington in response to the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011, said his team was “proud to be a New Zealand company”.

“A Kiwi start-up is now leading in the crisis management software space in Mexico and Latin America.”

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