Article: Investment in HR technology in India is too low: Balaji Ganesh


Investment in HR technology in India is too low: Balaji Ganesh

While Heads of HR understand the need, they are unable to express and justify the same

HR technology should ideally be a percentage of people cost rather than on the basis of the turnover which is the case in India


Investment in HR Technology in India is still too low - Balaji Ganesh, CEO, Adrenalin

Who is the primary buyer of HR technology in Indian firms? Does it differ between small/medium firms and large firms?

The primary buyers varies basis the size of the company and the level of automation currently prevalent in the company. However the influencer for HR Technology in all the cases remains the HR Head. The buyer for small & medium sized companies is the CEO and in case of large firms it is the CTO. In case of companies with good investment in automation, the buyer is the HR Head.
We predominantly see that the HR Head is unable to present and justify investment in HR Technology, while is comfortable in expressing a need. This obviously pushes the decision making to either the CTO and/or the CEO. Actually even when it comes to manpower needs HR role is that of servicing the request from the business, rather than pushing the business for the need basis the strategic business plans envisaged. The fear of the unknown exists high with HR.

What is the size of the industry of HR technology? Who are the players? How rapidly is growing? What are its unique characteristics in India?

There are many local players and few national level players. We also find companies which had done some turn-key projects in this area converting the same into a generic offering –more prevalent in Payroll automation. Yes many small timers are mushrooming in this space – thanks to the difficulty HR heads have in justifying investment, they take solace with the small timers to tide their current situation, rather looking at this investment as a long-term relationship with technology.
The unique characteristics in India are the abundant availability of System Integrators or software development houses who take up building specific tools to meet specific customer needs, this supply acts as a good source for low key automation. HR is still not strategic for most organizations in India and they are yet to see the “investments in HR technology giving results”.

How are SaaS based HR products changing the market?

Not significantly. There are players, but adoption is not as rapid as anyone would expect.

Does HR technology get sold as a separate module or part of an overall ERP implementation?

Both exists. More and more HR technology is sold separately, because during overall ERP implementation HR is neglected and when it comes to specific needs of HR function a whole-some ERP pays only lip service to the requirements, forcing companies to look for independent HR technology which can also integrate with ERP.

What is the biggest challenge in getting HR departments to adopt technology in India?

Making them conversant with technology and the process of calculating benefits of investment in technology. They should also look outside recruitment and training, look for out-of-the box automation of their processes, improving efficiency in their way of working, etc.

What is the forecast about the future of HR technology?

It is set to grow. Lot more simplification in processes is bound to happen, technology will pave the way of leaner HR teams supporting the Organization and also helping them take proactive decisions in succession planning, competency building, etc.

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Topics: C-Suite, #Outsourcing, #HRIndustry

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