Part 1: The Time is Now | Part 2: The Need for New Mindsets
So, EHS compliance management has some new technology friends. The cloud. Software as a Service (SaaS). Digital transformation (DT). And their compatibility is showing up in the form of automation, digital data, improved business processes, and smarter ways of working and solving problems.
In regulated industries of all kinds, organizations and their EHS compliance teams are taking notice.
They’re learning SaaS is a mature technology that’s been widely adopted because of its simplicity and versatility: An organization can implement a SaaS solution in days and quickly deploy it to distributed locations. Users can work from anywhere on any device, and automatically get the latest app releases and use the newest functionality. The organization pays for it all on a managed-cost subscription basis per user or workgroup.
Businesses are also discovering the possibilities of digital transformation for EHS compliance management. They’re finding out DT and its cloud computing framework can help them solve problems in creative new ways using transformational digital solutions.
The next step for an organization is finding a technology vendor who can help it bring EHS compliance management, the cloud and DT together.
Invest in the partnership, not just technology
Rule #1: Technology moves forward quickly — and constantly. Rule #2: To help your business get started and steer it through changes, having an established, trusted partnership with a tech vendor is vital. The strongest partnerships are formed when the vendor:
- Understands your business and its immediate and long-term objectives for EHS compliance management — knowing every situation is unique.
- Comprehends your business’s culture, inner workings, and how and where compliance and sustainability fit in.
- Analyzes your compliance processes and weighs new functionality to make them better, in line with your business objectives. This should be a continual process.
- Structures your solution based on your requirements, not one size fits all. The vendor should further report on compliance industry trends for DT, cloud technologies and so on.
- Defines the scope, timeline, projected cost, ROI, and other factors of your solution accurately.
- Orchestrates the implementation and admin process for your solution and associated technologies.
- Helps your organization and employees with change management, system and user administration, training, and ongoing support.
- Exercises transparent lines of communication, and responsiveness, with key EHS compliance stakeholders and executive leadership.
And let’s be honest. How often do effective business partnerships come down to personal aspects? It’s not surprising that shared interests and personalities often carry more influence in building a tech vendor partnership than the actual solution does.
Vendor side, the best tech providers play to their strengths and know their limits. They don’t try to be everything to everybody. They provide the right technology fit by being “simple” and “agile.” Within the EHS compliance management sector, this is why vendors who focus on simplistic cloud technologies like SaaS and the agility of digital transformation are best fits.
Where is a vendor on the innovation scale?
Technology itself is inherently innovative, and most tech companies consider themselves to be “innovative.” So that part of the scale is a wash. The more important thing is whether you partner with a vendor whose technology roadmap leads your organization to its own innovation success.
Ironically, the innovation strategies of an organization often depend on vendor products that are still in the invention stage or still evolving themselves. We’ll say it again. Technology moves forward quickly and constantly, which makes it vital to always know what a strategic tech partner is developing.
If the tech company isn’t gigantic and full of red tape, chances are also good your organization has direct access to the developers who created the solution you use. This translates both to a more direct line of support and often to a suggestion box for new functionality. If users see something that might add value to a solution, their suggestions can many times lead to the development of new features. As far as innovation goes, this is practical and collaborative inventiveness at its finest.
Just don’t be an organization whose procurement processes (and politics) inhibit an innovation partnership with a tech vendor. It can distract from a mindset that could drive truly valuable advances in your business’s technology solutions.
Trust and transparency
Final word here. You should have the utmost confidence in any technology company and its leaders and people. Substantiate the company’s reputation and its breadth and depth of experience. Read industry reviews, customer case studies, and talk to customers whose situation is similar to yours. After all, trust and transparency are the underlying keys to building a successful partnership and then maintaining it.
A tech company’s stability matters, too. What do you know about their history? Their philosophy? Do you have visibility of who the shareholders or investors are and the company’s financial standing? Are you confident they’ll still be around in 5 years? Do your homework and ask questions.
We’ll start with our own bit of transparency from one of our investors, High Alpha:
“Encamp CEO Luke Jacobs spent years working with Fortune 10 companies to streamline their environmental compliance programs. To streamline the compliance process, he wrote software that increased accuracy, ensured environmental compliance, and boosted efficiency by cutting out costly and repetitive tasks. He understood the inefficiencies and gaps in current EHS solutions and knew that companies deserved better…
At High Alpha, we believe that in spaces with known rules and parameters, software will outperform and underprice human competition. Regulatory compliance, monitoring, and management lend itself well to augmentation and automation via cloud solutions … Encamp has become the largest third-party filer of EPCRA Tier II reporting in the country because of this.”
Read the rest of this blog series
Part 1: The Time is Now
Part 2: The Need for New Mindsets
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