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The 2015 EHS and Sustainability Software Buyers Guide report was just released by NAEM and now it seems like the whole EHS, Risk and Sustainability space is buzzing about it.

The report analyzes how companies are approaching EHS and Sustainability software in 2015: what companies’ data management needs are, how much they are spending on software systems, how they select their solutions, implementation challenges and more.

The survey is brimming with valuable insights and trends. Here at Enablon, we’ve read and re-read the report, gone over its contents and analyzed the key takeaways. This has resulted in our analysis of the 5 most interesting trends that caught our attention. Read about them below and then download your copy of the report if you haven’t yet.

1. Self-described level of EHS risk remains significant

In the 2015 report, 84% of respondents self-identified as operating with a medium or high level of EHS risk relative to companies operating in other industries. A company’s approach to data management strongly correlates to its size and level of EHS risk. Companies with a high level of EHS risk are much more likely to use an off-the-shelf solution to manage their EHS and sustainability data. This also highlights the growing convergence of EHS, Sustainability and Risk, and how this convergence should be reflected in the software solution that is adopted. For example, 67% of first-time and returning buyers identify risk management as a top desired software capability.

2. Incident Management is a top desired functionality.

3 of the top 5 desired software capabilities, including the top one, relate to incident management: incident tracking (desired by 88% of responding buyers), incident reporting (82%) and incident investigation (82%). The strong desire for incident management capabilities is mostly driven by the need to be in compliance with occupational safety and health regulations, such as the 2015 updates to OSHA’s injury and illness reporting and recordkeeping rules.

3. User-friendliness is key.

Among buyers, user-friendliness is an important requirement for 96% of respondents and it is ranked number one among all requirements. Also, among past purchasers, user-friendliness is an important system requirement for 87% of respondents and it is ranked number one among all system requirements. This shows that user-friendliness is an important criterion in the evaluation of EHS and Sustainability software, rather than a fancy nice-to-have. Companies must take a serious look at the user experience offered by software solutions. Among other top requirements, buyers are also seeking solutions that are easy to update and flexible.

4. Buyers seek enterprise-wide systems and implementations.

53% of buyers are seeking an enterprise-wide off-the-shelf solution to meet their global EHS and Sustainability needs. This number rises to 64% for larger companies with revenues greater than $10 billion. Not only are buyers looking for a comprehensive software approach, they also overwhelmingly (84% of buyers) plan to implement the software across the entire company, regardless of whether the solution addresses a specific EHS need or is an enterprise-wide system. Buyers should clearly look at the big picture and consider how software solutions address multiple EHS, Sustainability and Risk needs across many domains (environment, health and safety, supply chain, product stewardship, etc.).

5. Buyers are considering a smaller number of systems.

Buyers currently looking for a new system are considering an average of 5 software systems compared to 8 systems for buyers who purchased a system in the past. This may signal that the EHS software market is starting to be dominated by a handful of key providers, which may be due to the fact that a majority of buyers are seeking comprehensive enterprise-wide systems as opposed to point-solutions, and other factors.

Join the conversation

What about your top five? What are the most interesting trends that caught your attention while reading the findings of the NAEM survey? Join the conversation on social media to let us know your thoughts:

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