survey_says-1Every year those “in the know” spend time gazing into the future (or their navel, depending on their creative process) with the hopes of picking out those pearls of wisdom that will enlighten and prepare their audience for the coming year. Every industry has its pundits, wise ones, and data collectors, each of them looking at the challenge from a different perspective; the HR community is certainly no different.

For 2015, we at Sierra-Cedar chose to forgo the crystal ball (or LCD monitor) for our predictions and instead have decided to share a few unpublished nuggets from the Sierra-Cedar 2014–2015 HR Systems Survey analysis, kicking off this Survey Says article series with our Survey participants’ actual plans for 2015. Beyond the hype and hope, we know that organizations have to plan their budgets and, more importantly, pick their battles in advance. So for 2015, what did the data tell us about budgets and future plans?
Replacements versus Upgrades Initiatives
While 18% of organizations plan to replace their core HRMS this year, another 15% still plan to upgrade their HRMS environments; these are big initiatives for any organization. We also learned that 31% of organizations plan to change their Talent Management solutions, in most cases moving to a talent management suite that more closely aligns with their core HRMS strategies.
Significantly, 64% of organizations are working on Business Process Improvement (BPI) initiatives in 2015. At the end of the day, no system can fix broken processes and poor cultures. Organizations are spending both resources and time on major process improvement initiatives this year, many of these centered on profile management, data management, and self-service processes.
Hot HR Applications in 2015
Looking at HR applications that organizations plan to adopt in 2015, we’ve pulled a list of the top 10 applications that our Survey respondents have actually budgeted for in the next 12 months across various regions:




1. HR dashboards Career planning and development Career planning and development
2. Lifecycle management/Onboarding HR dashboards Strategic use of LinkedIn
3. Embedded core HR systems analytics Embedded core HR analytics Lifecycle management/Onboarding
4. Manager self service Talent profile management HR dashboards
5. Career planning and development Embedded talent management analytics Drill down and ad hoc HR reporting
6. Talent profile management solutions Succession planning Workforce/Labor scheduling
7. Embedded talent management analytics Drill down and ad hoc HR reporting Embedded workforce management analytics
8. Embedded workforce management analytics Absence management Talent profile management solutions
9. Succession planning HR Help Desk Embedded talent management analytics
10. Leave management Leave management Strategic workforce planning

It’s pretty clear what organizations are focusing on for 2015: more data, more analytics, and more planning.
HR Goes Mobile
Survey responses forecast over 100% growth across all Mobile-enabled HR process areas this year, from 13% to 27%. Adoption of Mobile technology in our personal lives is almost universal and a large part of how we interact and communicate with the world around us. Specifically, Survey respondents are focusing on Mobile-enabled Talent Management processes—particularly in Performance Management. Across all HR applications, Performance Management now has the highest percentage of Mobile-enabled HR process adoption, and respondents indicate plans to increase adoption this year to 40%.
Budgeting for the Future
Knowing that over 53% of all organizations report that they would increase their spending in the next year and 42% report that their spending plans would remain the same, it’s a good bet that many of these plans will come to fruition this year. The greatest challenge for many organizations is finding the HR talent to support these solutions. Data show that as we move from purely administrative HR solutions to more strategic and data-driven HR solutions, we don’t see fewer HR resources, but rather more functional and strategic HR resources with the ability to turn the system investments into HR insights and operational actions.
Visit our website for more “Survey Says,” as we’ll be sharing more nuggets from the Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey on a regular basis. Our Survey is deployed May through July each year; for more information, please click here.