Verdantix has released details of a survey of 65 green software providers worldwide. Between them they offer 126 software applications that support environment, energy, carbon, corporate responsibility, sustainability and health and safety business processes. The headline conclusion from the analysis is that environmental software applications will be incorporated in a new era of integrated sustainable business software platforms from the likes of Enviance, Hara and SAP.
The Buyer’s Guide To Sustainable Business Software concludes that the sustainable business software market is characterised by:
• Rapid growth in the number of applications, up from 31 in 2005 to 126 in 2010. This growth is expected to increase buyer education.
• Sustainability leaders dominating purchase decisions. Almost all suppliers (93%) have sold to people with sustainability responsibilities, whilst just 18% have sold into the IT organisation.
• Not unexpectedly, the survey found that the dominant deployment model is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). (This goes some way to explaining why the IT department isn’t involved - SaaS bypasses the IT operation).
• All sustainability processes are increasingly being integrated into one platform, i.e. through an integrated software suite such as Enviance’s Environmental ERP and Verisae’s Sustainable Resource Planning.
The surprise for me is the low proportion of IT departments involved in purchases, but then the SaaS aspect and the non-IT department purchases go hand in hand. And if you choose the right supplier, then the fact that the market is moving from solutions to platforms doesn’t really matter - if it’s SaaS delivery then adding additional functionality should be straightforward anyway.
If anything it’s the vendors that should take note. This is a market that will see dramatic consolidation and the report findings give a clue to winners and losers. Suppliers need to have a broad range of integrated environmental solutions (which gives existing ERP suppliers a head start), it needs to be SaaS delivery (increasingly the case anyway), and if you’re only selling to the IT department then something’s wrong!
As solutions become more integrated, the case for implementing BASDA’s green-XML standard also gets stronger.