The Value of True SaaS for EHS Compliance
You’ve realized that the complexities of your company’s compliance or environmental health and safety (EHS) requirements call for a better solution than multiple scattered spreadsheets or silo systems. Great. So now what?
A series of questions may be running through your head. Where do you start looking for software solutions? What are your company’s sustainability initiatives you’d like to achieve? What would you like your system to help you accomplish? These are all valid questions. However, what some people don’t realize is that one of the most influential first questions to answer during the initial stages of searching for a software solution is whether you want it to be on-premises or offered through the web.
Using a central repository offered through the web not only gets your crucial site information out of paper files, spreadsheets, and stand-alone or inaccessible databases, but it also ensures that any project participant can access this information from any place at any time. True cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) systems are run on one platform that’s always up-to-date and exists across all customers; otherwise known as multi-tenancy architecture. Multi-tenancy is a SaaS delivery method that is guaranteed to eliminate many of the problems created by the traditional software licensing and upgrade model.
SaaS offers the following advantages:
Take advantage of automatic, vendor-managed updates
Traditional software upgrades can be cost-prohibitive due to their complexity and required resources, and can be put off for months or even years. Multi-tenancy ensures that every customer is on the same version of the software. As a result, no customer is left behind when the software is updated to include new features; which deliver continuous improvement and make staying compliant with new laws and regulations less of a burden.
Eliminate surprise costs
With a subscription-pricing model, you pay as you go. And all updates are continuous and automatic- ensuring you won’t be forced into paying for an upgrade. Everything is included in your subscription, meaning no extra surprise costs.
Benefit from the wisdom of the crowd
By providing a standard version of the software across all users, the vendor can spend more time directly addressing your needs, and less time maintaining software. This single version, with proper security features and configurable functionality, creates an unprecedented sense of community. The collaboration of knowledge and success stories provides valuable insights and promotes further innovation.
Easy access & actionable insight
Gain access to relevant data in real-time.
With a cloud-based SaaS system, your environmental data will always be accessible. Your stored data will be available from any location and with any device, platform agnostic. Which means as long as you have an Internet connection, you’ll only be a few clicks away.
Also, by capturing and analyzing data all in one place in the cloud, you can analyze information at portfolio level significantly faster, providing actionable insight in real-time. All your information is consolidated into concise, intuitive formats, which enable you to make immediate, informed decisions.
The tools within this SaaS system will also assist you when it comes time to make critical decisions. Because your environmental data is being stored within a single, powerful application, the information can then be rolled up into comprehensive and readily accessible business analytics via dashboards. From here you can access real-time analytics and easily configurable reports with the ability to drill down to the raw data details.
With a SaaS system you get immediate, real-time insight into every aspect of your entire EHS operations.
Improve the quality of your data
With a central, SaaS system you can eliminate:
If you are currently using a variety of different applications for the management of your environmental data, you are creating the opportunity for double input of data, which negatively affects its quality. Using one central SaaS system simplifies data input, and by having this one system being used across multiple departments and for various programs, you eradicate the possibility of redundancy.
Wasted Man Hours:
If you don’t have an integrated system, users are forced to re-enter the same data in different applications. This results in wasted man hours and slower turnaround speed, which ultimately culminates to low user productivity.
With different databases or applications come different navigation systems and user experiences. Users having to learn how to operate multiple systems increases confusion and makes it more likely there will be errors in your data. Using a cloud-based system gets rid of this hassle and decreases the possibility of errors.
Questionable Data Quality:
With an excel spreadsheet or access database, human error during data entry is bound to eventually play a part. With a SaaS system, data quality checks and validation happens immediately at the time of input. This ensures your data is accurate and reliable, so that any decision you make based off of that data, you know is correct.
SaaS is all about speed. With a centralized, SaaS system you can not only find information faster and reduce cycle time for data loading, validation, management, and reporting- but the initial deployment is much faster than an on-premises solution.
With SaaS, you avoid the often prolonged deployment associated with other software, which usually comes with compounded expenses, and you experience immediate set up and value. Because the system is run over the Internet and simply requires a username and password to access, no time has to be spent on installing software on individual devices- so you can skip the messy installation, maintenance, synchronization, and upgrades.
With SaaS you gain immediate access to the system, pay only for what you use with no hardware to procure, no large, up-front license fee, and no complex set-ups.
Select a platform that can grow with your needs (with configuration, not customization)
First let’s cover the basics: the difference between customization and configuration. Customization involves the development of custom code, most likely by the vendor, to change or add functionality; whereas configuration is the customer making changes through vendor-supplied tools. A true SaaS system should be configurable, so your organization is freed from costly customizations while still being able to easily meet company-specific business processes.
One popular myth about SaaS is that because it’s in the cloud, it’s a one-size-fits-all solution. This could not be further from the truth. Not only should a SaaS system be configurable for the company, but it should also be configurable for different departments or parts within a company.
The configuration factor is crucial when you’re looking for a software system that can grow and change along with your organization. Some SaaS systems, such as Locus’, offer this rare opportunity to configure your software to your business processes, not your business processes to your software. This is especially important in the complex world of EHS, compliance, sustainability, energy, carbon, air, and water management, where regulations and requirements are in a constant state of change.
Dr. Neno Duplan is president and CEO of Locus Technologies.
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