Survey Insight: An Integrated ORM Software Platform While Important Is Not A Deal Breaker For Customers
Operations decision makers like offshore installation managers and heads of process safety don’t put a premium on the breadth of functionality of operational risk management (ORM) software. According to the Verdantix survey of 221 operational leaders, 15% stated the breadth of ORM software functionality is a ‘very important’ criterion in shaping their purchasing decision, while a further 50% consider it to be ‘important’. Out of the eight evaluation criteria, the breadth of ORM software functionality was mentioned last in terms of being ‘very important’ in influencing an ORM software purchase. Factors such as the quality of user interface, pre-built reporting, analytics and configurability came out on the top.
Why is a broad ORM software application important but not a priority? Firstly, deals have tended to be struck at the asset level, for instance, covering a single oil refinery or chemical plant. This limits the breadth of business requirements. Secondly, reflecting historic customer demand, specialist ORM vendors have tended to specialize in either process safety (for example VisiumKMS), barrier management (RiskPoynt) or control of work (RAP International). Only recently have broader ORM platforms emerged. Thirdly, large APM software providers like AspenTech, Aveva and Bentley Systems have tended to focus on fixing asset reliability and maintenance challenges, not tackling the overall operational risk management agenda.
Expanding the capabilities of ORM software should be on the product roadmap of every vendor. Why? Customers increasingly look for ORM solutions which meet the needs of a business unit, such as Shell’s North Sea operations, or the entire enterprise. This move away from single asset deals will increase the appetite for broad, integrated ORM software applications. Whether vendors respond with acquisitions such as the recent eVision/Enablon combination by Wolters Kluwer or through in-house investment on product development is a strategic decision that can’t be ignored.