Worst Practices For EH&S Software Projects

Published 28 March 2017 by David Metcalfe &
EHS Software Environment, Health & Safety Market Overview

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Executive Summary

The market for EH&S software is growing at a healthy pace – and has been for some time. Verdantix forecasts growth of 11% per annum over the next five years and spend of $1.0 billion in 2017 alone. But all is not well in the world of EH&S software implementation: failed projects abound. Customers complain about vendors over-promising and not delivering; vendors moan about consultants over-customizing their software; and consultants diplomatically point out the lack of planning on the part of their clients. This report, based on 32 expert interviews and insights from vendor selection engagements, provides EH&S executives with an honest overview of the worst practices in EH&S software projects. To avoid the litany of errors highlighted in this study, EH&S executives should shape more effective governance, create a vision for their technology plans, invest time upfront in engaging user groups and map out business processes in more detail. EH&S technology governance will get harder in the future with the influx of Internet of Things devices, smart PPE and millennial employees.

Table of contents

Technology Maturity Suggests EH&S Software Projects Should Be A Breeze
EH&S Software Is Implemented To Achieve A Wide Range Of Business Goals
Customers Have Many Mature And Well-Designed EH&S Apps Available To Choose From

An Avoidable Litany Of Errors Undermines EH&S Software Project Success
Cutting Corners On The Vision For People, Process And Technology Is The First Misstep
Flawed Thinking On EH&S Software Vendor Selection Starts Projects Down The Wrong Path
Naïve Expectations That Software Is A Silver Bullet Compounds Problems
Weak Project Management Undermines EH&S IT System Design And Implementation
Inadequate Data Management Resources Quickly Kill EH&S Software ROI

Recommendations For EH&S Executives With Troubled Software Projects
EH&S Executives Should Expect IT Project Governance To Get Harder

Table of figures

Figure 1. Market Penetration Of Commercial EH&S Software
Figure 2. EH&S Software Has Converged On A Standard Product Architecture
Figure 3. EH&S Budget-Holders Articulate Preferences For Different Deployment Options

Organisations mentioned

3E Company, Accenture, BG Group, Bloomberg BNA, Capgemini, CH2M, Dakota Software, Deloitte, Dow, DuPont, Engie, Enhesa, Enviance, Enviro, ESP, ESS, EtQ, Fluor, GE Digital, Home Depot, IBM, Intelex, Medgate, Meridium, OSIsoft, Rivo, Rolls-Royce, SafetyCulture, Shell, SAP, Sphera Solutions, Thermo Fisher, UL EHS Sustainability

About the author

David Metcalfe


David co-founded Verdantix in 2008 and leads the firm’s research and advisory work on the digitization of Operational Excellence which covers software, systems integration, wearables and drones. Prior to founding Verdantix, David was a Senior Vice President at Forrester Research and Head of Analysis and Forecasting for BT. He holds a PhD from Cambridge University in Game Theory and Decision Analysis and worked as a Research Associate at the Harvard Business School.

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