Build vs. Buy: Ten Lessons Your CIO Should Share About Enterprise EHS & Crisis Management Software

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Courtesy of Lexicon Systems, LLC

Build vs. buy software decisions often pit business and operations against the Chief Information Officer and the Information Technology (IT) department. Individual agendas and stakeholder needs compete for attention. Users present complex, almost undecipherable requirements, and the project team must deliver a user-friendly solution on time and within budget. If you and your CIO have a good relationship, ask him/her to share their expertise to help you make an informed decision. If not, then use the insider tips in this white paper to help.

What worked in the past does not always work in today’s context. Not long ago, organizations of all sizes sported robust IT departments. In the last few years, many have outsourced the IT function altogether, focusing instead on their core business. Others maintain IT staffs in an effort to better control the outcome of IT initiatives at a time when IT is constantly changing. Companies have difficulty tracking, let alone planning and implementing system additions or upgrades.

Business today is global, on-demand, 24/7. Companies must be agile and quick to respond to changing markets and opportunities. While Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) compliance and Crisis Management have been corporate issues for 35 years, today they possess a new sense of urgency due to Sarbanes-Oxley and other corporate governance drivers.

Companies now recognize that EHS and Crisis Management represent critical operational risks. Their ability to help ensure regulatory compliance depends upon having a system to continually collect, process and report the appropriate information. That system should also track ongoing regulatory changes and their business implications. Finally, companies are increasingly aware that they need systems to help them plan for and respond effectively to all kinds of crisis events—from industrial accidents to natural disasters—to ensure business continuity.

If you are thinking about implementing or upgrading an EHS compliance or Crisis Management (EHS/CM) system, you probably know that you can choose from a variety of commercial software packages. But will they do exactly what you need? If you have an internal IT staff, you may wonder if they can build a better solution than you can buy in the marketplace. Hence, the great debate…

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