Not all EHS software is created equal. Whether you need enterprise EHS software or not depends on your company size, EHS program maturity, and other measures.

If you’re in the market for new EHS software, you’ve likely come across the term ‘enterprise-class’ when browsing.

Here we explain what enterprise-class EHS software is, and the type of companies that require it.

In some cases, it may be overkill—in others, it’s required. Therefore, we’ll help you understand the meaning of enterprise-class when choosing the best EHS software for your business.   

What is enterprise EHS software?

Enterprise EHS software provides large companies with a solution to efficiently manage and streamline EHS processes across a whole organization.

When EHS software is ‘enterprise-class’, it means its design considers complex IT hierarchies, often catering to all employees in a company to varying extents.

As a result, it is not an off-the-shelf purchase. It requires deeper consideration into matching the software to unique business needs.

Read more: Configurable vs. Out-of-the-Box EHS Software

More characteristics of enterprise EHS software include:

  • Integrates with core IT the business relies on, such as SharePoint
  • Comprised of several modules for different processes
  • Managed centrally
  • Configurable or customizable to an organization’s unique requirements

Consequently, small and medium businesses (SMBs) with dozens of employees at one or two sites likely do not need the scope that an enterprise-class solution would cover.

Is my organization an enterprise?

Generally, an enterprise is a medium or large organization that employs hundreds or thousands of people.

For instance, examples of an enterprise include:

  • Medium to large-sized organizations that work nationally or internationally
  • Government entities
  • Nonprofit groups that operate in many areas

Additionally, an enterprise has defined departments for EHS, Quality, HR, Sales, IT, Customer Service, and so on.

The exact number of employees and turnover that defines an enterprise varies between institutions and countries though.

In the United States, the Small Business Administration (SBA) defines large-sized businesses when they have over 2,000 employees and over $1 billion in revenue.

The European Commission on the other hand already considers a business as “large-sized” when it has more than 250 employees and an annual turnover of over €50 million.

Whether your organization is an enterprise therefore depends on the threshold you use, your turnover, the number of employees, and the presence of distinct departments.

What processes does enterprise EHS software handle?

EHS software that is enterprise-class is made up of several modules for different processes. These can be optional based on your requirements.

For example, there could be modules for:

  • Incident Management
  • Audits & Inspections
  • Risk Assessment
  • Permit to Work
  • Observations Reporting
  • Energy Consumption Management
  • Waste Management

A module contains forms, workflows and dashboards pertinent to its process.

Furthermore, modules integrate with each other and core tools such as an Action Manager.

Another important part of enterprise EHS software is the ability to analyze performance with dashboards and reports. Often, a Business Intelligence model underpins the system to facilitate this.

Can enterprise-class be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?

Most software these days, whether enterprise-class or not, is some form of Software-as-a-Service. In essence, SaaS means that a client pays an ongoing subscription fee in order to use a vendor’s software.

Consequently, many SaaS solutions are hosted in the cloud. However, Pro-Sapien’s EHS software (which is enterprise-class) is also available on-premise.

On top of licensing, SaaS means the client receives ongoing support and access to functionality updates as they become available.

The subscription fee is likely higher for EHS software that’s enterprise-class than it is for smaller software systems. Vendors may calculate it per region or per business unit rather than per user, which is more popular with off-the-shelf software.

Who uses it?

Enterprise-class EHS software often has a range of users and roles. The role that a user has dictates the actions that they are able to take within the software.

Usually, in enterprise software, there is:

  • Users
  • Managers
  • Administrators

For example, a system user such as a machinery operator has different permissions to the Site Manager, who has different permissions to the Global EHS Director or IT Director.

Moreover, enterprise software is designed to withstand widespread usage without lagging.

How to choose the right EHS software

With so little difference between vendors in the EHS software marketplace, it can be difficult to know which is best for your business.

Most EHS software buyers look for:

  1. Integration with corporate IT
  2. Configurability
  3. A friendly user-interface

If you’re currently searching for a new EHS software solution, head to our blog post on 5 Best EHS Software Companies by Specialty which helps you make a considered decision.

Ultimately, only mid to large sized organizations with multiple sites and a defined EHS department will require enterprise EHS software.

For enterprises with Microsoft 365, Pro-Sapien’s EHS software on SharePoint is the go-to option. Learn more in this whitepaper, Microsoft 365: An EHS Portal No-Brainer?

Office 365: An EHS Portal No-Brainer? Is it right or wrong for you? Decide with this PDF →


  • Hannah Stewart

    As the Communications Manager at Pro-Sapien, providers of EHS software on Microsoft 365, Hannah has been researching and writing about EHS technology since 2015 with a keen interest in employee engagement.

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