Is Your EHS Software Vendor a Good Fit for Your Digital Journey?

August 02, 2018

took place in June, and just like last year Peter Bussey from LNS Research wrote a great summary of what he saw at the event. We strongly suggest that you read the full LNS Research article because it presents an objective view of the event from a respected research and advisory firm. There are so many interesting perspectives in Peter’s article that it’s easy to lose sight of one particular passage that I consider to be among the most important ones, which is the following:

“Most industrial organizations still have much potential to increase their maturity level of EHS software and technology adoption and standardization. Such organizations tend to be focused on putting basic process and data management capabilities in place (e.g. incident management, compliance obligations, risk assessment, action management, audits, etc.) rather than advanced technologies, which might seem overwhelming. Enablon would do well to continue to communicate they can help customers wherever they are in their digital journey, giving them a path forward no matter how aggressive they want to be.”

Organizations are at different stages in their digital journeys, some more advanced than others. Even within a specific industry there may be great differences between companies, with some still entering data in spreadsheets, while others automatically capturing data from sensors.

Based on our experience with members of our community, there are five signs that you should look for if you’re in an EHS software selection process, and you want to be sure that an EHS software vendor can address your requirements wherever you are in your digital or technology journey. These five signs also indicate if a vendor can help you advance in your digital journey, not just address current needs.

1) Ability to Handle Any Mix of Human and Machine Data

Today you probably capture data both from humans and connected assets, machines and devices such as sensors, beacons, drones and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The mix of human and machine data will vary greatly based on where you are in your digital journey. Some organizations are just starting to collect machine data, while others are more advanced and collect thousands of data points over the Internet of Things (IoT). Regardless of what type of mix you have, you need to be sure that an EHS software vendor can handle machine data today and be ready for your evolution as you leverage more moving forward.

2) Mature EHS Mobile Apps

For some organizations, data from sensors, drones and IoT devices may be something new or more for the medium-term. But mobile devices are everywhere and the use of is more widespread. As part of your digital journey, you may be just starting out with EHS mobile apps or expanding their use. If that’s the case, be sure that the . EHS mobile apps, like any software, get better with time. Apps that have been around for many years are more robust and richer in functionality, especially if they were native since the beginning. A native mobile app is an app developed specifically for a mobile operating system (e.g. iOS, Android). Some EHS mobile apps were non-native in initial versions, and native versions were developed later. These apps are not as field-proven as apps that were first deployed years ago and that were native since the start.

3) Advanced Analytics Capabilities

Data capture from humans through computers or mobile devices, or from connected assets, machines, sensors, drones and IoT devices is just the start. What you do with the data is more important. Based on where you are in your digital journey, you may be using data simply to create reports or achieve compliance, or you may be using advanced analytics to predict and prevent incidents. Since you will inevitably evolve along your digital journal, be sure that an EHS software vendor has advanced analytics capabilities to produce valuable insights from data and enable a more proactive, predictive approach to EHS and risk management to achieve operational excellence. Other capabilities to look for in order to be future-ready include artificial intelligence and machine learning.

4) Joint Innovation Journey

Technology evolves quickly. Many solutions mentioned in this post will be yesterday’s news in one or two years, while emerging technologies that are not frequently in the news today will be hot topics in the future. You will witness these changes as part of your digital journey. But if you partner with the right EHS software vendor, you can participate in the innovation journey, instead of just witnessing it. For example, Enablon’s innovation labs bring together our experts and the Enablon community of users to build solutions for the future. Since the Enablon community includes companies that are the leaders in their respective industries, solutions jointly developed are not just new tools for Enablon customers, but are also well positioned to become the standard tools in many industries.

5) Single and Integrated EHS Platform

When you build a house, you can have fancy windows, nice paint, expensive furniture and many gadgets, but if the house is built on weak foundations, you’ll have a problem. It’s the same with . There are two categories of EHS software vendors: Those with a single, integrated technology and software architecture that have built functionality organically over the years, and those that have added functionality through acquisitions. Integrated EHS platforms built organically and not through acquisitions are better equipped to leverage the same data for different processes, whether it’s data from computers, mobile devices, assets, sensors, IoT devices, etc. As part of your digital journey, you’ll see an expansion of: 1) data quantity, 2) sources of data (human and machine), and 3) data processing for advanced analytics. Be sure that you’re well equipped for this journey through an integrated EHS platform.

If you’re in an EHS software selection process, look for these five signs to be sure that an EHS software vendor can address your requirements wherever you are in your digital journey, and to make your journey as productive and rewarding as possible.

View the recording of our webinar with LNS Research to learn how advanced analytics capabilities can enable a more proactive, predictive approach to EHS and risk management to achieve operational excellence:

Webinar LNS - Advanced Analytics