Like it or not the re-election victory of President Barack Obama means there will be more business regulations to comply with in the years ahead. The truth of the matter is that most regulations wind up forcing businesses to be better managed. But it’s also true that those regulations increase the cost of doing business. The challenge facing IT organizations is going to be finding a way to comply with those regulations in the most cost-efficient way possible.
To help businesses address those specific challenges, SAP is making the case that the time has come to push the management of business regulations into the cloud. The company recently launched an SAP EHS Regulatory Documentation OnDemand, a content service that offloads the process of creating regulatory documentation. In addition, SAP is making available a cloud service, dubbed the SAP Product Stewardship Network, designed to allow manufacturers to collaborate with suppliers as they collect information about the substances used in the makings of various products.
According to Jennifer Schloze, SAP senior director of marketing for product safety and stewardship, the SAP EHS Regulatory Documentation OnDemand service marks the first time that SAP is actually managing a business process on behalf of customers. SAP employees collect all the information required to create safety data sheets that are then used to create product labeling information. Companies can then opt to share that information via the SAP Product Stewardship Network, which Schloze says is a more efficient and cost-effective approach that allows organizations to subscribe to updates and notifications versus being dependent on emails or updates to internal websites to share critical information.
Schloze says that when it comes to compliance, the stakes have never been higher. Organizations are doing business on a global basis, which makes them subject to myriad regulations that have varying degrees of penalties. In addition, the longer it takes an organization to come back into compliance with those regulations in the event of violation, the more expensive the fine. The SAP Product Stewardship Network is designed to create a self-service information network in the cloud to facilitate that sharing of critical product data as quickly as possible, says Schloze.
The SAP Product Stewardship Network coupled with the SAP EHS Regulatory Documentation OnDemand service is only one example of a business process that could be made more efficient by pushing it into the cloud. While not every application may lend itself to the cloud, increasingly any process that requires two or more organizations to collaborate is a strong candidate for the cloud. Almost by definition, that would apply to any compliance or business sustainability initiative you could care to name.