The world of Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) IT systems is a vast one. Therefore, it cannot be stressed enough that organizations need to be nimble and armed with easy-to-deploy, interoperable, portable systems.
Most mature organizations opt for a risk-based EHS management system framework designed to meet a continually evolving and dynamic business and operating model.
A risk-based approach offers flexibility, within defined boundaries, for alternate solutions to risk management needs. Standard frameworks recommend mandatory controls when there is potential for high-consequence events. Moreover, risk control measures which have been proven effective and considered technically superior are increasingly used.
IT teams must often maintain a series of documents detailing the key components of the EHS management systems and how they are used within the broader corporate IT ecosystem. Problems often arise within the management of these vast volumes of data, among multiple systems, which can result in scaled risk and can paralyze companies; leaving them unable to quickly change with new business requirements. Therefore, the need for quick system deployment, flexibility in integration, and portability of data becomes paramount.
EHS Participation in IT System Selection Spells Success
IT groups have traditionally been slow to adapt to the needs of EHS business owners. Truth be told, most EHS leaders have historically sought to address certain problems or needs, rather than participating in the decision-making process for IT systems. This results in incomplete, misaligned and failed systems being deployed to solve real EHS business challenges.
Brett Yesukaitis, a senior sales consultant at the IT and services company IronBrick, aptly describes how misalignment occurs in modern organizations:
“Today’s business environment dictates an IT ecosystem—one that stretches across on-premise and in-cloud to provide a platform for data to live and evolve,” said Yesukaitis. “When this environment isn’t available, business owners circumvent IT which typically results in implementation in a cloud environment without the knowledge of the IT team. This results in shadow IT and a lack of data governance, consequently putting the business at risk.”
Misalignment with IT creates a host of problems that reduce the efficacy and return on the original investment. Elongated project plans, mis-scoped functionality and workflow breakdowns increase the cost of projects and can derail a vision for the business.
Thankfully, in modern years, EHS business units are now a part of the IT decision-making process and help shape and modernize corporate systems. The ability to easily articulate a scope, and implement a product quickly is now incredibly important.
Rise of IT Ecosystem Delivers Value
The idea of IT ecosystems is not a new concept, but companies have been slower to adopt and capitalize on the idea. Recently the term “ecosystem” has been utilized in various ways that might mischaracterize the true meaning and the value it can provide an organization.
According to an article in MIT Sloan Management Review, “Behind this semantic overstretch, however, lies a substantive new phenomenon: the rise of dynamic, multicompany systems as a new way of organizing economic activity. Seven of the world’s ten largest companies, all using technology to disrupt not only their sectors but broad swaths of the economy, now depend on such systems, and ecosystems thinking is more prominent in faster-growing companies across the S&P 500.”
CIOs and IT organizations have a huge role in driving the business utility and success of the ecosystem, according to a McKinsey article, but they can’t do it through “business as usual.”
“In an ecosystem environment, an exclusive focus on ‘protecting the center’ can limit a company’s ability to capitalize on emerging opportunities,” the McKinsey article stated. “To adapt their complex business-technology architecture to function in a world of ecosystems, CIOs will have to figure out how to simultaneously draw external technologies closer while managing security issues and getting a handle on the accelerating stream of technological innovations.”
As a result of these new dynamic IT landscapes, the ability to integrate, onboard and support a new technology quickly becomes the differentiator and value driver within an organization.
IT groups that inherently understand this are able to partner with EHS groups to bring about the best offerings while also solving real business challenges, reducing cost and improving productivity. EHS professionals who understand this concept and how it can be applied in an organization are better able to influence the direction of IT systems while having a more impactful voice.
Slow Deployment Returns Risky Results
Chemical management solutions that cannot be quickly deployed and configured within the ecosystem become costly, increase the length of projects, reduce time to solution and create undue stress on the team and organization. And the longer a project endures with added customizations, the portability of data, the application itself, and the core workflows become inherently more at risk.
Gartner elaborates on why it is important for companies to take the ecosystem approach in the article, “8 Dimensions of Business Ecosystems.”
One of these dimensions relates to complexity and being able to assess constraints and the implications of a more complex solution. The risk of implementing a chemical management solution that is too complex to set up, integrate and support creates a variety of unneeded dependencies for the organization.
Many organizations have been stuck with bespoke or legacy chemical management systems for years and fear change. Increasingly, however, agility in chemical management is key to supporting EHS, Product Stewardship and Product Compliance groups.
The inability to support new operations, new locations, new languages, new products and access to the right data at the right time can be the difference between a billion-dollar win and a billion-dollar mistake.
A QuickStart Solution from Enablon and Verisk 3E
Through the Enablon and Verisk 3E QuickStart Chemical Management program, companies can onboard both the Enablon Chemical Management Software application and 3E Protect™ SDS and chemical management solution by Verisk 3E for a quick, straightforward solution.
Enablon’s QuickStart methodology starts with the product and focuses on what comes as standard. It’s a consultative approach that provides clients with a configured product which can be used as a starting point to define more complex needs.
3E Protect by Verisk 3E is a turnkey SaaS solution that delivers immediate chemical compliance support by providing access to over 9 million Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and advanced regulatory reporting functionality. Users have access to their own library of SDSs and other compliance documents which they can choose to store. All data stored in the system is available on-demand to the Enablon Chemical Management Software application, providing a seamless experience for all users.
Instead of waiting months, a ready-to-use solution can be deployed in a matter of weeks, resulting in IT groups happily supporting the streamlined onboarding process while EHS stakeholders get the tools they want and need. Everyone is satisfied as a result.
Let’s Support Your Ecosystem
Let’s face it, chemical management is complex and the systems out there to manage it are largely outdated or hard to support. Why not make a change? Why not increase your compliance, data accuracy and productivity while reducing total cost of ownership?
The Verisk 3E and Enablon integrated solution provides a better ecosystem approach to rapidly and effectively deploy simple, flexible chemical management.
Learn how this QuickStart Chemical Management methodology worked for CHS, Inc. in a recent case study. For more information, see our solutions page.