Will The Digitization Of EHS Services Redefine Market Dynamics In 2020?
There is no doubt that 2019 was a tumultuous year for the EHS market. The mergers and acquisitions among established EHS software firms and niche system providers are creating new solution platforms for the industry and new opportunities as a result (see Verdantix EHS Software Market Heading For A Big Realignment In 2020). Just as the global vendor market will continue to undergo significant restructuring in 2020, the new decade also promises to redefine business as usual for EHS consulting providers.
Cost and resources are two of the most consistent drivers of technology adoption, as firms seek to allocate their resources to performing higher-level tasks and reducing time-based expenses. As firms continue to embed digital transformation into their long-term growth strategies, so too do they expect this behaviour to be mirrored by their service providers (see Verdantix Market Overview: Rise Of Digitized EHS Services). Witness Arcadis and its Creating a Sustainable Future 2018-2020 strategy, which sees innovation and growth as a key pillar and digital innovation as the lynchpin of all its offerings. The latest Verdantix Global Corporate Survey 2019 of 403 EHS decision-makers found that 83% of respondents see it as either very important or important to their purchasing decisions that EHS consultants can deliver EHS services using digital hardware and/or software solutions (see Figure 1; see Verdantix Global Corporate Survey 2019: EHS Budgets, Priorities & Tech Preferences).
With the wave of digitization sweeping the EHS market on all fronts, we are seeing distinct changes in partnership dynamics as the waters recede. Instead of traditional transactional relationships where a firm pays for a set service and the vendor provides it, there is an increasing focus on ecosystem partnerships that can deliver mutual success by combining strengths to create collaborative solutions. This changing partnership dynamic among EHS service providers, software vendors and corporate firms is enabling new revenue models and innovation growth strategies to emerge, as the focus shifts from immediate deliverables to long-term goals.
As the new decade is ushered in, we will continue to see the proliferation of edge technologies and IoT devices, the abolishment of organizational and data silos, and a distinct mindset change around risk management from liability-focused to opportunity-centric. With an ever-greater emphasis placed on flexibility and scalability, 2020 will bring with it some ground-breaking collaborative solutions for historic and emerging challenges.