Musings on the Future of HR Technologies…and Me

I recently took two weeks off work due to a surgery (all good and it is past and I am mending quite nicely, thank you!) I couldn’t work. I couldn’t lift anything heavier than five pounds. I was pretty much dead in the water. I did keep up with email kinda, but my brain was a bit foggy. So, I didn’t have a lot of coherent thoughts for a while. But that forced down time absolutely, emphatically, showed me that retirement, despite being “of the age” is not in my cards for the coming year. Rather, what I needed was to “re-fire.”

That “re-firing” notion got me thinking about the value of changing HR systems. I’ve always recognized that changing technologies is a “catalyst for change” and have written about that for years (first major report I did on this was in the eighties while at SRI International). The primary reason for me is that I think the decision to make a change should involve all the pertinent stakeholders – HR, IT, management, employees, the solution providers, etc. etc. Another reason is that in making the change of technologies, an organization and its people can also make positive changes in structure, processes, policies, how work is done, and even in the relationships among sometimes adversarial groups like IT and the business. So, I think that changing HR technologies such as from one HRMS to another is a time for an organization to “re-fire.”

This line of thinking also led me to a realization about me and what I really love. I love collaboration with others who are passionate about HR technologies and our CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey. I’m fortunate to work with some at Sierra-Cedar, and I also love the interaction with clients when I do benchmarking, with Bill Kutik who has recently announced his own retirement, and all the people who download the survey (available for free from our website) whether they are practitioners or vendors or fellow analysts.

My musing about the future of HR technologies for 2013, which I expect will play out in next year’s survey results, include that:

  1. We will see more replacements of the HRMS with a SaaS solution than upgrades of existing solutions. The surprise we may see is a strong increase in the adoption of Oracle Fusion HRMS, especially among larger organizations.
  2. We will see real integration across talent management applications, the HRMS, and with business intelligence solutions and that the integration activities will become a major initiative in many more organizations than the 22% we saw from last year’s survey respondents.
  3. Social and mobile adoption will continue at a fevered pitch, but driven more by real business needs to improve employee engagement with socially-imbued processes (i.e. performance management and learning management specifically) and to improve user adoption with key mobile-enabled processes (i.e. recruiting, payroll, learning for example). Adoption of vendor-hyped products will give way to demand for solutions that meet specific needs, with customers driving innovation and not the vendors.
  4. Workforce analytics, beyond good management reporting, will separate the well-run and financially successful organizations, from others.

So, what do YOU think about the future of HR technologies? Do you agree that a change in the HRMS is a catalyst for positive change? I would love to hear from you!

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