Bill Kutik is the best impresario of this dynamic conference that brings together buyers with sellers, and more importantly people who truly care about HR technology and each other. It’s great fun to see friends I’ve known since getting into this field about 20 years ago, whether at analyst briefings at Chicago’s finest restaurants, the Brazen Hussies, Chicas, or more intimate dinners with colleagues and clients, as well as in sessions and on the absolutely packed show floor.
What was astonishing for me this year is that I spent the first hour at the conference center without seeing one person I did know! Given that I’ve been going for perhaps ten years and know tons of people in our space, there were an incredible number of new people this year. HR technologies are truly a domain with lots and lots of new blood from the US and abroad. It was terrific to meet Europeans and Asians I’ve only known as social avatars.
And, it’s always heartening for me to present the CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey, now also in its 15th year. I think I’ve presented eight times now, always to a packed room interested in hearing the adoption trends and outlook across the seven categories and forty-plus applications we track. I hope you all understand that the survey serves as a reality check on what is adopted and we have a ways to go for organizations to fully take advantage of what’s available, but the trends are clear: 1) SaaS will surplant licensed solutions; 2) and 3) social and mobile are increasing in use and will enhance the user experience and to the extent that is improved, adoption increases and organizations achieve full value and 4) analytics while still in early adoption stage are increasingly adopted and deliver strong business outcomes. Again, thanks to all 1,246 respondents for making the survey possible and thanks to many who came to the session and asked great questions. Sorry I couldn’t answer some of them — like “is it great marketing or great functionality that sells product?” I just didn’t think to ask that kind of question on the survey. My only hope is that it is true need that drives the choice of product.
- ADP: “focus on what matters.”
- Salesforce: “it will be a mutual responsibility.”
- SAP: “keep the main thing, the main thing – people.”
- Ultimate: “look for experience and culture of the vendor and choose one that will grow with you.”
- Workday: “it’s about execution and look for improvability.”
My biggest aha moment, was at the keynote address given by Tom Koulopoulos, who stated this is the “social century.” To me it rings so true that now is the time for collaboration, for sharing without expecting something in return, and for community, all changing how we work and how we interact in the world.