Lexicon Systems, LLC Blog

lex'•i•con: the vocabulary of a branch of knowledge. Thoughts on environment, health & safety (EHS), sustainability and information technology to support them.


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New breed of software market leader has six traits

The environment, health & safety (EHS) software market is hot this year. Six deals announced in the first half of 2016 total $750 million to $1 billion. With all of this investment in the market, which companies will take the money and run—and become the new market leaders?

new-breed-software-market-leader

Creative Art/Freepik

Companies in most all industrial sectors must manage environment, health & safety (EHS) and sustainability information. Managing this information manually is not an option for most organizations, so a niche software market has evolved over the past 20-plus years. Today, the EHS software market accounts for billions of dollars in annual license and subscription revenue and implementation fees.

Big investment in EHS software companies fuels market changes

Investors and software industry analysts alike are paying attention to the EHS software market niche. These significant investments mean that “green”—environment and sustainability—is good for business.

Market leaders exhibit six traits

With all of this investment in the market, which companies will take the money and run, and become the new market leaders? Investment alone does not make a company a leader; money can enable success or it can get in the way. I submit that a new breed of market leader will emerge, and must exhibit six traits.

The new breed of EHS software market leader must exhibit six traits; vision, adaptability, innovation, a customer-centric view, knowledge base, and intellectual capital.

1. Vision. Formulating a vision requires questioning the status quo. Executing that vision requires leadership, a great team, business processes and technology. Communicating the vision internally and externally is critical to success.

2. Adaptability. Internal issues can quash the impact of new investment. Vendors that can quickly integrate and absorb the organizational change will have more success than vendors that cannot. Adapting to external issues like regulatory and market changes is equally important.

3. Innovation. Customers expect more of software today than ever before. Mobile and Cloud capabilities are the rule, not the exception. Usability is king. Vendors that offer innovative, but not bleeding edge, solutions can capture market share over competitors that use older technology platforms.

4. Customer-centric. Vendors that look outward towards market and customer needs—and innovate to meet these needs—will become the new leaders.

5. Knowledge base. Vendors must have a team that understand subject matter, IT, and business issues in the sectors they serve. Vendors that lack knowledge in some of these disciplines will fall short.

6. Intellectual capital. Hiring the “best and brightest” is not enough. Vendors need to invest in developing employee skills to execute the company vision.

Exciting times ahead

Companies in most all private and public sectors must manage EHS information, and the EHS software market accounts for billions of dollars in annual license and subscription revenue, plus implementation fees. Think of it as a sleeping market that recently awoke. It will be exciting to see how 2016 investment invigorates this niche market, and which vendors emerge as leaders by 2020.

This post first appeared on the Strategies for Software Lifecycle Management blog.

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Business + technology + innovation = opportunity

woman surfingTechnology is a great business catalyst. My high school friend’s three kids—a surfer, a fashion designer, and a digital designer—raised $20K through a Kickstarter campaign to take their business to the next level. They sell surfing bikinis to urban women in San Francisco. Their claim to fame is that the bikinis stay put! See Kinda Fancy Bikinis.

Get your shift togetherA management consultant friend of mine writes writes books on intergenerational workforce issues. She self-publishes books and sells them on Amazon.com, alongside the books by thousands of other authors. Self-publishing shortens the time from concept to market by months or years. See Get Your Shift Together.

A silver and gold jewelry designer uses 3D printers to fill customer orders on demand, saving thousands of dollars that otherwise might have been tied up in inventory and precious metals stock. This designer has loads of artistic talent and communicates well with the engineers who translate her concepts into jewelry.

Business + Technology + Innovation = Opportunity

Each of these businesses cases is an example of disruptive technology. An entrepreneur takes a business idea, adds technology and innovation to create new markets, smashing traditional barriers to entry. Definitely not your mother’s or father’s business model!


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Interbrand names Best Global Green Brands for 2014

Interbrand and Deloitte named the 50 Best Interbrand Best Global Green Brands 2014 Global Green Brands for 2014. Ford Motor Company leads the list, with the closest Performance and Perception scores. The top 10 include four auto manufacturers, four electronics/high tech, one apparel and one consumer packaged goods company.

  1. Ford
  2. Toyota
  3. Honda
  4. Nissan
  5. Panasonic
  6. Nokia
  7. Sony
  8. Adidas
  9. Danone
  10. Dell

Sustainability is ” a business approach to creating long-term value by embracing opportunities and managing risks derived from economic, environmental and social impacts… it also involves creating and maintaining a product, service, or business identity that reflects added value in terms of environmental and social benefits.”

–Best Global Green Brands Report, 2014

The report says the path forward [to sustainability] requires a radical shift in priorities, production and consumption methods and values. The path forward requires innovation, leadership, courage and cooperation.

“…the search for new, more sustainable models, solutions, methods and materials is accelerating…  it is becoming increasingly clear that “business as usual” is not the path forward.”

– Best Global Green Brands 2014


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The environmental impact of tablets

Industry analysts predict that tablet purchases will outnumber laptop purchases by 2013. The increasing use of tablets, both business and personal, has quite an impact on the environment. Their use results in lower ink and paper consumption, lower CO2 emissions, as well as lower water consumption during production.

Twenty-five percent of adults in the U.S. own tablets, compared to only 4%  in 2010. And 45% of tablet users say they have decreased printing. 

–morganstanley.com and appleinsider.com 

ID-10081890Uberflip, a Canadian company that helps organizations to deploy content on electronic platforms, identified four environmental sustainability trends related to tablet use:

A decline in printing. Although many people feel that they still require hard copies of just about everything, this is no longer the norm.  Printer manufacturers like HP are feeling the crunch as the demand for ink shrinks.

I work with more electronic documents than paper documents these days. I buy less paper and ink than I have bought in the past. When I need a paper copy, I print wirelessly from my iPad or notebook computer.

Eco-friendly devices. Over their lifetime, tablets result in lower CO2 emissions, notably when people use their tablets as e-readers rather than buying paper books. The CO2 equivalent emissions from a tablet are about 1/3rd that of a small notebook and 1/25th that of a 60-watt incandescent light bulb.

E-waste. The volume of electronic waste will double by 2025. To combat this, electronics manufacturers and big box retailers have implemented recycling programs. I took advantage of this free recycling service at least four times this year, giving up an old notebook computer, a desktop computer, a laser printer and an inkjet printer. I reused the computer hard drives, converting them into external hard drives with a simple enclosure kit.

Green business. More and more businesses use tablets to demonstrate products and services, and for sales transactions. My local grocery chain uses iPads to sign up customers for their loyalty coupon program, which has computer and mobile apps. This replaces printing and mailing costs.

A national electronics chain uses iPads to demonstrate how tablets connect to big-screen TVs to display streaming videos. The Apple store uses iPads that allow customers to compare products and view features. A sales technician is on hand to answer questions and complete the sale–by entering transaction information on an iPhone and then swiping a credit card. You get a small paper receipt and an electronic receipt by email. There is no cash register evident in the store (there may be one in the back for cash sales) and no waiting in lines.

See the full Uberflip InfoGraphic on Sustainability of Tablets.


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Green Quadrant® Environmental Management Software names market leaders

Verdantix  named IHS, Enablon and SAP as the leaders in the enterprise environmental management software market in its report, Green Quadrant® Environmental Management Software (Global) 2012. Enviance, Locus Technologies and BSI group are in the second tier.

Verdantix defines environmental management software as

enterprise-scale software that enables firms to capture, analyse and report data, and manage performance across their assets on environmental indicators such as air, green house gases, water, waste and toxic chemicals.

The U.K.-based research firm used their proprietary methodology to evaluate the capabilities of 12 firms in 19 areas. Other findings of note:

  • Overall spending on environmental management software will increase over the next three years in 60% of companies with revenues of $1 billion or more.
  • Spending on sustainability will increase in 2012 vs. 2012 in nearly 60% of companies surveyed.
  • Greenhouse gas, hazardous waste and water top the list of customer’s monitoring requirements.
  • Automated task management, notifications and workflows are important.
  • Customers want to integrate/interface other data sources with their environmental management system.
  • Customers prefer to buy from large environmental/sustainability software firms.
  • Two-thirds prefer that the software firm or an engineering/sustainability consultant implement the software.

For more information, see the full report.


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The power of brands

Research firm Interbrand released its list of the best global brands for 2012. While it’s not a surprise to see Coca-Cola and Apple and the top of the list, I found it interesting that six of the top ten brands come from tech companies, as well as ten of the top twenty. Skimming through the list of 100, I was unfamiliar with only one brand.

Interbrand’s methodology looks at the ongoing investment and management of the brand as a business asset. Three key aspects that contribute to the assessment:

  • The financial performance of the branded products or services.
  • The role of brand in the purchase decision process.
  • The strength of the brand.

Photo: Interbrand

And the Top Ten Best Global Brands are…

  1. Coca-Cola
  2. Apple
  3. IBM
  4. Google
  5. Microsoft
  6. GE
  7. McDonald’s
  8. Intel
  9. Samsung
  10. Toyota